Article #1: “Do I Really Want To Be Married…Or Am I Just Lonely?”

Article #2: “You Are Beautiful…”

Article #3: “Your Mirror Has Only One Reflection”

Article #4: “Thanks For Giving”

Article #1: “Do I Really Want To Be Married…Or Am I Just Lonely?”

“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Gen. 2:18

God, Himself, said that it’s not good for man to be alone.

Now, let me place myself into the text and the period in which it is written. God had created every beast, fowl, and creeping thing and brought them to Adam to name. God saw that there was not one that could be an help meet for Adam. He placed Adam into a deep sleep and took one of his ribs and made a woman. God brought her to Adam and Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” The text goes on to record that they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Let me first address that the revelation I received, as it may be a tremendous help to men around the world – instead of searching so intently for a woman, be busy about the job God has for you to do. Adam didn’t even recognize how lonely he was or how “bad it was to be alone” because he was too busy naming animals, fowls of the air, and creeping things. God brought woman to Adam when He felt it was time to do so. Adam recognized her for who she was immediately, and from that moment they were man and wife.

Now before the “wifey” thing, all that was around Adam were beasts, fowl, and creeping things. So, I have to believe women who are raising children when they say, “I’m in need of adult conversation”. It was by this same token God felt that it was not good for Man to be alone. Adam was not lonely; he had the company of all the animals, nature, and even God himself who visited him in the garden at times. But, he was alone.

Lonely is defined as remote from other habitations or dwelling places. Alone is defined as apart from or to the exclusion of other persons or things; solitary; single. At first glance I look at lonely and think that we’ve been using the word incorrectly but, then I think again and realize that when you are in love with someone you do feel at home with them, you’re extremely comfortable with them, and all masks are removed; and to be void of that is to be remote from a place called home. Lonely can also be defined as a homeless heart. {Hmmm…I like that.} Now, there is a difference between lonely (a homeless heart) and being alone (being single). Moreover, God said it was not good for man to be ‘single’. He did not say that it was not good for man to have a homeless heart; the reason being because Adam’s heart had a home with God. So another revelation for me is that if I find myself feeling lonely, then I need to check my connection with God, not try to fill it with a woman’s embrace, or the smell of her perfume, or in the sound of her giggle.

As we explore this issue of man being alone, we must take into account that Adam was the first man in the world, and the world needed to be populated. Now that it has been populated, being alone just isn’t what it used to be. There are men’s groups and women’s groups, there are people who have the same hobbies as you do, and there are family, friends, and co-workers. So being alone now is not as it was for Adam; you’re never alone unless you choose to be. What makes it so difficult to maintain singleness is the way we are bombarded by images from a consumer-based society that deems you incomplete unless you’re with a mate. Love stories, commercials with lovers, and holidays for couples all add to the pressure to find a significant other. I’m not saying that it is a bad thing to be involved with a partner, but we have to consider the alarming rate of divorce in this country. It could be attributed to consequence that these people made too rash of a decision to get together—and for what? To have children and then separate and cause their offspring to have more of a warped view of what marriage is? Furthermore, speaking of marrying to have children, there are millions of abandoned children that could use a parent to love them as their own. Who’s loving them?

I have developed a more realistic view of marriage because I have repeatedly watched family and friends divorcing and ending vows made to each other and to God. We have to go back to the old days. We’re dating and rehearsing marriage and then when the marriage is actually here, we’re expecting something greater, when it’s only what it was before the ceremony. The big thrill, the learning of each other, the need to cling to each other would be there if you didn’t rehearse all of that by dating. Dating should be merely friends – male and female – going out doing things together in single-hood; taking the time out to learn about the opposite sex, in a non-threatening atmosphere, where dialogue and understanding can take place to make each more informed as to what to expect and how to be more appealing to their future mate. So how do you know if you should marry this person or not if you don’t date them and get to know them? Place your heart in God so that it’s not homeless, be busy in God’s assignment for your life, and let Him present you to each other when the time is right.

Do I really want to be married or am I lonely? I will no longer be lonely because my heart will no longer be homeless. Additionally, I only want to be married if that is what God has planned for my life. Meanwhile… let me be busy about my Father’s business.

Article #2: “You Are Beautiful…”

I love black and white movies. Although there were no special effects or digital enhancements, the actors were nonetheless flawless. Not one strand of hair out of place, no lipstick out of the lip line, and not one crooked bow tie. Everything was absolutely perfect. Beautiful.

We are bombarded constantly as to what “Beauty” is. Thank God for the courage of some magazine editors, TV producers, and others who are changing the traditional standards of beauty and embracing diversity. However, while beauty may no longer be a particular color, shade or hue, nor how straight or how long the hair lies, American standards still require that you have to be extremely fit. Puffed up in the right places and indented in others. There should be six small rolls on the abdomen and not one huge connected one. And there should not be scars, wrinkles, or blemishes. And unfortunately, in many circles, to be accepted you have to be beautiful.

I was watching Oprah one day. Yes, I watch Oprah…lol. And there was a young lady who was involved in a horrible car accident. 85 to 90% of her body was burned and you cannot tell who she is today according to the physical beauty she had prior to the accident. Well she was on the show to confront the mother of the drunk driver that had hit her (causing her car to burst into flames), face to face for the first time. The mother was so overwhelmed by embarrassment and grief about what had happened to this young lady that she couldn’t speak and fully apologize. The young lady held the mother’s hand and gently said, “It’s ok”. How remarkable, how forgiving… how beautiful!

In no disrespect to that young lady, but it took a minute or two to get use to how she looked. But when you heard her speak and the attitude she carried and the gentle spirit she had, you saw past the outer shell and saw so clearly her inner spirit. She was simply, beautiful.

It’s so important in these times where commercials are telling you how inadequate, unattractive, and unprepared you are that you see yourself as God does and realize that you are beautiful in your own right. Every wrinkle, scare, and/or blemish is that uniqueness that makes you different from the billions of humans on this planet. You are like the snowflake or the fingerprint… there’s only one of your kind. How can you not be beautiful, you’re the only you there is. Barbara Streisand kept her nose, Donald Trump has kept his hairstyle, and so has Don King and they are awesomely beautiful in their own right. Follow suit and be you, be unique… be beautiful!

Learn to spend time with yourself. Get to know you. Don’t like being by yourself? Take the time to find out why. When you are complete within yourself then you have something to offer to another. Jesus is a wonderful reflection to compare yourself to. Although it may be difficult to meet up to that standard, you can’t go wrong reaching for it. Love yourself, love God, and watch what type of people you’ll begin to attract to yourself. I remember an old saying, “Beauty is skin deep but ugly is to the bone.” With life inevitably comes scars and aging. But bad attitude and being mean is much deeper. Chose to be beautiful because innately… you are beautiful.

Article #3: “Your Mirror Has Only One Reflection”

…The alarm clock roars and wakes me suddenly from a peaceful sleep. I debate whether to hit the snooze or to go ahead and cut it off. I decide to cut it off. I sit up on the side of my bed and fold my hands under my chin and I thank the Lord for another day. I ask Him to guide me through my day and to make His voice clear. I yawn, stretch and head to the bathroom. I cut on the light and I look in the mirror…

Though there may be some variations to the order or to what you actually say and do in your morning, basically you wake up and go to the bathroom and look in the mirror. What do you see? Sure we can get deep and say, “We see the real person before putting on the mask for the world.” Or we can say, “We see the man in the mirror.” But it’s a simple answer… you see your reflection.

What I would love to have the ability to do is to be able to see you, as you see you. Oftentimes we are in denial or we simply choose to see what we want to see. We have lied to ourselves for so long that we believe our own hype. We see ourselves as we would like to be rather than as how we are. Personally, I believe this is why we are so quick to put down our brothers and sisters in Christ. Let me explain.

I think it is appalling how much Christians badmouth other Christians. The whole concept of being a Christian is being of one mind, one body, and one spirit. I have to liken us down-talking another Christian in the Body of Christ as that to a cell attacking another cell in the human body: becoming cancerous.

I understand the whole concept of judging a person by their fruit. If you’re announcing that you’re an apple tree, why are you producing oranges? It doesn’t make sense. But it’s our job as Christians, as mature Saints to uplift those that are not as strong in the faith. We down play people on television who claim to be Christians and judge everything that they do and say they are not followers of Christ. But if there was a camera on you all of the time, what would folks say about your walk with Christ? And if it’s a positive report, then can you take the time to pray for the babes in Christ? We have to learn to speak life instead of tearing each other down.

I don’t know about you, but I have come a long way from my “before Christ” days, but I have so much further to go. I don’t have enough time to scrutinize your walk. But I always have time to pray a prayer on your behalf and my behalf because I don’t always have the understanding. For all I know, you may be going through a process as much as I am. So as the Bible says in Matthew 7:1-5:

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Your mirror has only one reflection. Deal with that and carry on with the rest of your day. Time is a tickin’ and there are millions of souls yet to be saved. Your life may be the only sermon a person will ever get. Live the life you speak of and pray for those that don’t quite have it all together as you do. It took you time and it will take them time also. Amen!

Article #4: “Thanks For Giving”

It is my favorite season of the year – Autumn. I love the chilly weather, the changing colors of the leaves, and Thanksgiving. I personally wanted to take this time out to thank you, to thank Detroit and to thank God.

I’m learning that everyday is not to be taken for granted. I’ve lost five family members and friends to death in a month and a half time lapse. Life is so precious and so is the time we spend with each other. Which brings me to you the reader. Your time is spent making money and running errands and handling business that caters to your lifestyle. You don’t have to take any time to read these articles I write. I want to thank you for doing so. I’m only here because you make it possible. Thank you so very much!

I also want to thank Mary and Keith Crosby of Detroit You have no idea what you mean to me. Because of your obedience to God, you’ve become a roadway to my destiny. Because of your willingness to give me the opportunity to put down on paper what God inspires me to share, so many doors have been opened my way. I will never forget you two. I love you with all my might and declare to the world my devotion and loyalty to you. Thank you again!

Colossians 2:13-15 (NIV)

13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made us alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Thank you Lord for devising a plan to reconcile me back to you. Thank you for your Son Jesus for dying on the cross so that I might live. Thank you also for your Holy Spirit to comfort me and bring those things back to memory regarding your Word. Lord, thank you for my life, health and strength. Thank you for your gifts and talents you’ve given me and I promise to continue to use them to lift you up.

1 John 2:1-2 (NIV)

1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

There is no reason why you can’t take this time to review how you’re living. Of course no one is perfect, but we all should be striving towards it. Do you know Jesus? Is He savior of your soul? If you’ll say this quick prayer with me you too can be saved:

Dear Lord, I am a sinner. I need Jesus to come into my life. I want to be saved. I believe Jesus is the Son of God and that He died for my sins. I also believe He rose on the third day. Forgive me Jesus! Thank you for loving me, dying for me, and saving me. In Jesus’ name… Amen!

You are now a child of God! Find yourself a church home that teaches the Bible. Surround yourself with those that love and fear the Lord. God bless you and thanks for giving your time to reading this article every month.

Anthony Howard, a single, writer, director, and producer of film, television, and stage, also serves as a freelance writer for “London Falls Quarterly” and “Feed Magazine”.