Kathleen Hardaway

Category - relationships

Husband and Home: Is It a Package Deal?

Quite often little girls grow up playing house, playing with Barbie and Ken, playing with baby dolls.

It seems to be the nature of what most girls do. They think surely someday the toys will no longer be make-believe but will become reality. How quickly time goes by, and the young girls become teens and some become boy-crazy beyond words. Boys, boys, boys. What else is there; what else really matters? And before you know it, the boys are now men and you wonder what happened?

Days have turned into months, months have turned into years, and still no husband and no house. How could this be? Your dreams of being married and living in your dream home look like an impossibility. You’re still single, living in what appears to be a couple’s world. A world that asks the question, Why aren’t you married?

I certainly can relate to every bit of this. I was one boy-crazy little girl, teenager, and young woman. I used to think that a husband and a house were a package deal. I always thought the two went together. You get married; you buy a house. This is how it works—so I thought.

Was I ever wrong! Last year single women purchased one of every five homes sold. That’s nearly 1.5 million; and if you’re counting, that’s twice as many as single men bought, according to the National Association of Realtors. I made the jump and joined this group of home owners.

I never thought I would do this alone. I never really thought I could. I was a bit scared, freaked out, excited—all wrapped up in one. I took the big leap, and I’m so glad I did. I prayed hard. I sought the Lord’s guidance all along the way. My strongest prayer was, “God, not my will but Yours. Close the doors if this is not what You have for me.” God confirmed it at every turn, and yes, it was a process.

It didn’t happen the first time I looked for a home. Nothing was right. It was not God’s timing. Waiting can be so hard, but it’s always worth it. This time around, the right house, at the right time, in the right neighborhood all fell into place. I wasn’t even looking for a house; it just happened.

Are you like I was—a little scared to make the jump? I’m not necessarily encouraging you to purchase a home. Many of you are way ahead of me, and you did this even in your twenties. You didn’t wait until you were in your forties to buy a home. If you have a strong desire to own your own home, begin praying about it. Mine was a very long wait, and then it happened fast.

Not only do you need to pray, but there are things you need to do on your end. Before you ever start the process of purchasing a house, be sure your finances are in order. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. How is your credit rating? The higher your score, the better for you in every aspect of this important decision.
  2. Find out up front how much you can borrow, and get pre-qualified.
  3. Do you have high credit card debt? Work toward getting out of debt as much as possible.
  4. Consider the entire cost for the purchase. Taxes, home insurance, the mortgage rate, interest rates, a home inspection, and the closing costs.
  5. Be sure you work with a realtor you can trust. I worked with my mother who is a realtor. Not everyone can be quite this fortunate.
  6. Consider everything you will need when you move. There will be things you probably will need to purchase, like a refrigerator, washer and dryer, furniture, and lawn mower. I had to purchase all these things. I had some furniture, but not enough to fill up a house. And, think about the cost of the move.
  7. Consider using a mortgage company that will not sell your loan.
  8. There will be expenses such as putting in phone lines, possibly cable or satellite television. Do you want high-speed Internet or Internet access at all?
  9. You may decide you need an alarm system. Many singles won’t live without one. Typically, there is an installation cost, and then the monthly bills.
  10. Your house may need to be treated for bugs. Not just once, but possibly on a regular basis.
  11. If you’re purchasing an older home, there may be many hidden problems with the house. New or old, NEVER purchase a home without having a good quality home inspection.
  12. Pray, pray, pray.

These are just a few simple things I’ve learned along the way. There are many great Web sites and books on purchasing your first home. God knows your future. Be smart; don’t buy beyond your means. This may mean changing how you spend your money. You should live on a budget, if you don’t already. Don’t wait.

You may be thinking that with your salary, purchasing a home will never happen. Never say, “Never.” But no matter what happens, remember God has built our ultimate dream home, one beyond our wildest imagination, one that nothing here on earth will even begin to compare. Things may be very hard for you right now financially. Keep seeking the Lord for His provision. Do your part; take baby steps toward becoming smarter with your finances.

God has a plan; He has a purpose. He has a place that is perfect just for you. Keep pressing on. Keep believing His precepts, and He will bless you as you continue to walk in His ways and trusting Him with your life.

“In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3).

See more at: http://www.believe.com/articles/Husband-and-Home-Is-It-a-Package-Deal/?source=fCon#sthash.eiEjQBGW.dpuf

Preventing a Broken Heart: Is It Possible?

My friend, have you ever had a broken heart? Has the pain been so deep you thought you just wanted to die?

I’ll never forget the night when I wondered if I was ever going to stop crying. All I can remember was going to bed and finally crying myself to sleep.

Hurt and pain can come in many different forms, but grief that comes from a broken heart seems to hurt us the most. There can be deep disappointments when relationships don’t work out.

Is it possible to date and not get hurt? Certainly! Is there anything you can do to help prevent heartbreak? Yes. There are lots of things you can do. However, you are never excluded from heartbreak if you give your heart to someone else.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where many people date with reckless abandonment. Godly integrity is not a part of many relationships today, and consequently enormous heartbreak is inevitable.

If there was ever a time we needed some basic guidelines in dating, it’s now. If today’s media has become our standard, we’re in deep trouble.

Following a few basic truths from God’s Word is the answer to preventing much heartbreak.

Whom should you date? How do you date? There is absolutely one essential key when of spending time with someone and developing a relationship. If you’re a believer, it’s important to date a Christian.

God says in His Word, “Do not be unequally yoked…” (2 Corinthians 6:14). Since dating often leads to marriage, you don’t ever want to get involved with an unbeliever. Plus, “…‘Bad company corrupts good morals’” (1 Corinthians 13:33). You may think that you’re just having fun and you never intend to marry the person you’re dating. I have known people who began dating someone just for fun and ended up marrying them. With deep regret, they admit they made a huge mistake. Be careful with whom you’re spending time.

Since respect is a key to a good marriage, respect is vital in a relationship. If you don’t respect the one you’re dating or if they do not respect you, stop the relationship now!

Often women tell me that the man she’s in a relationship with does not respect her, and he pushes her too far in the area of sex. This is an age-old problem that continues to break the hearts of countless women. How do you guard your heart? One way is to “flee from youthful lusts…” (2 Timothy 2:22). If you play with fire, you will get burned. Don’t go there.

As a Christian you must have a passion for purity.

If you truly have a passion for God, you should have a passion for purity. Much can be said on this subject, but the key is holiness. The Bible is very clear, “…Be ye holy; for I am holy” (I Peter 1:16). What are you watching, reading, and viewing online? Does it please God?

If you’re pure in your dating relationships, you are less likely to experience as much heartbreak. Always pray about every friendship that you have. Treat everyone as you would like to be treated. Ask for God’s direction in all your relationships.

Keep your relationships pure. Keep your relationships simple. Keep an open hand with your relationships. Ask the Lord to use you to be one who is pointing all your friends to the Lord. Be honest with yourself, and certainly be honest with the one you’re dating. If the person you’re spending time with is trying to fool you into thinking they’re a Christian but they’re just trying to steal your heart, ask the Lord to show you who they really are.

A lady shared with me her deep hurt after rushing into marriage. “Please tell anyone who is single to not be blinded into thinking the person they’re dating is a godly person if they’re not. I married my husband much too soon. I thought he was a believer and I know now I was very deceived. It’s much better to be single than to be in a wrong marriage.”

Is it possible to avoid a broken heart?

There’s no guarantee, but there are certainly ways to prevent the hurt from devastating your life. In all your relationships walk in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. Yes, my heart has been broken; but praise God, He has been faithful. As I reflect over my past, I’m so grateful for the relationships that didn’t work out.

I tell much more of my story in my book I Kissed a Lot of Frogs, but the Prince Hasn’t Come.

My friend, wait on the Lord. Trust the Lord. Always put your hope, your joy, and your dreams in Christ. When He is first, whether single or married, you will have a peace that no person or thing can give.