Tag Archives: integrity

Confessions of a Not So Newlywed


As I recently drove past a church on a main road on a Saturday night, a limo pulled out onto the oncoming lane and left behind lots of nicely dressed people waving goodbye with bubbles celebrating the newlyweds. I smiled and watched the limo disappear over the hill in my rear view mirror. I had flashbacks to the day I married Stephen. The overwhelming joy, my dress, our friends and family, how perfect it all was. I thought about what I’d tell this young couple if I had the chance to talk to them.

Stephen and I have been married now a little over 3 years. This puts us in what I’d call the “not so newlywed” stage. This is the phase where you’re out of the “honeymoon” stage and where you’ve sent out quite a few Christmas and thank you cards as a couple, but where you still find yourself staring at your spouse wondering, “Am I REALLY married to you??” both in good as well as confused ways.

Let me preface this blog by saying I am certainly NOT an expert on marriage. At 29 years of age, I am constantly learning more and more about everything. These are just some thoughts that Stephen and I’ve written over the last year or so of our marriage.

1. Marriage is not easy

(and all of my married readers shouted “AMEN”)

I honestly came into marriage with what I thought were fairly realistic expectations. I didn’t think it would be “happily ever after” or “picture perfect”, but I also didn’t expect it to be SO much work!

It’s not that marriage isn’t amazing, because it is! I’d HATE to scare any single friends out there. But I will say, it is hard work when you’re both TRULY committed to one another and have each other’s best interests at heart. You are two entirely different people who’ve lived two separate lives (even if you’ve been dating since the 8th grade).

Marriage is a collision of worlds, both in glorious ways and in ways that conflict.

It takes a lot of intentional focus and effort to make marriage work and it requires you to die to yourself daily like no other relationship. This is work that you both have to fully commit to in order for it to happen. It’s not something that can be delegated or be disregarded.

If you find yourself frustrated or freaking out because communication isn’t as easy as it was when you were dating or engaged, you can’t seem to agree on anything, or you feel like you’ve married a stranger—relax! You’re not alone! I congratulate you on being on a WONDERFUL journey where you get to grow and learn together.

2. Infatuation will end

Psychologists say that infatuation, or those “oooo” and “ahhhh” feelings last at most for 18 months. They say that after that time you will never ever experience those same feelings ever again.

That sounds like a heart breaking and traumatizing statement! However, those infatuating feelings are what keep some couples together and help them make a commitment to marriage.

Instead of the fickle feelings your relationship started with early on, you get to build upon true love. A self-sacrificing, self-denying, preferring one another kind of L—O—V—E. This love can still give you fun “oooo” and “ahhh” feelings, but it’s built upon a deeper mutual respect and trust.

To say that I was disappointed when I fell extremely ill on our honeymoon or got in a bad car accident shortly after being married is an understatement. We didn’t experience a great honeymoon or a “honeymoon” stage. For the longest time I was very upset and I felt like I had been robbed of what I thought I was entitled to as a newlywed.

I came to realize that Stephen and I get to build a foundation for our marriage that few get to  so early on through the hardships we’ve already faced. We get to choose love in the darkest, scariest, and most trying moments. We don’t choose to stay only in the realm of our feelings, which change day-to-day and from moment to moment. We have the opportunity before us daily to choose to love with a greater love than we could ever be capable of on our own.

3. Some days I want to be single again

I don’t mean to sound like I’m ungrateful because I’m truly thankful that I’m married or that I’m saying that my husband isn’t incredible, because he is.

It’s just that some days I want to be selfish and not have to think of someone else. When you’re married, you aren’t the center of your universe anymore and there is someone else to constantly think about and include. Sometimes I just want to check out on reality and only think about me. EEEEK—too honest?? I’m sure I’m not alone in this right? Help a girl out ;)

What I’ve found though, is that on the days I feel like this, as I listen to the gentle promptings of the Holy Spirit, I find how marriage is refining my heart to be more like Jesus. I can step back and realize marriage is forcing me out of my independent ways so that I’m more dependent on God in every way.

When I got married, we became one in every aspect. When I desire to have certain things the way that they were before we got married, I’m essentially separating what God has joined together.

4. Your relationships will change

Not all of them, but some relationships will change and not because you’re driving them away. It’s just a different circle or season of life that you’re in. The positive and beautiful side to this is that you two as a couple get to make friends together.

I feel absolutely spoiled by the love I’ve received from Stephen’s friends from all over the world. I’ve been hurt by and sad to lose other relationships, but every season holds its own beauty and its own disappointments. Embrace the new relationships together and work hard to keep the established friendships of those who love and believe in you.

5. You’re going to disappoint your spouse and even yourself.

Hold back your laughter, but I thought that I would be an awesome wife.
I thought I might even vacuum while wearing pearls!
Boy was I WRONG!

After Stephen and I withstood tough battles with his health problems in 2011 and a long-distance engagement, I thought that marriage was going to be fairly smooth sailing.

Little did I realize how insecure, selfish, prideful I was and it came pouring out like hitting the jackpot in a slot machine.

Give you and your spouse a break!
Marriage to one another is new for BOTH of you. Try to learn to be thankful for what they do and who they are and likewise what you contribute to your marriage as well.

A wise person once told me that you might only be 26 years old and 33 years of age like we were when we got married, but at your anniversary, you’re only 1-year-old as a couple, 2-year-old etc.

You wouldn’t expect a toddler to take care of itself, so work together to let your marriage grow and mature into something beautiful. Your spouse is with you in this process of change, so CLING to one another, and be QUICK to forgive and QUICK to ask for forgiveness.

 6. Sexual purity is just as important in marriage as it is before marriage.

I look back on our dating and engagement seasons with such joy and thankfulness. There’s not a day that I regret remaining pure with one another not just in action, but also pure emotionally and in our thought lives.

I never once felt uncomfortable around Stephen or regretted any interactions we had. I know this was the grace of God that came from a firm commitment we made before we even met to be pure sexually and emotionally. I have the same feelings of peace and thankfulness when I think about our marriage now.

Sexual purity, like anything else comes with the price of hard work. You must be willing to be honest and transparent with one another and set healthy boundaries in your marriage.

We’ve set strict boundaries in our marriage, not because we’re being tempted or because we don’t trust one another. We have them in place to protect and preserve our marriage and ensure that we remain faithful to what Jesus has for us.

Will you put up safety guards on your Internet to avoid porn sites? Will you include your spouse on a text message to someone of the opposite sex? What about riding in the car with the opposite sex? These examples are just to name a few considerations.

These might sound like legalistic rules, but let me assure you—you can’t have too much communication or openness. Not only will your marriage feel the safety, peace, and integrity that you establish, but it’ll be reflected to the world around you.

7. Counseling is priceless.

I wish couples spent some of the money that they typically spend on a wedding and invested it into their marriage.
Seriously though-sure the wedding day is beautiful and you’ll decorate with those pictures for the rest of your life except for me who doesn’t have any albums made yet.

However, in hindsight I’m glad we didn’t break the bank on our wedding, nor did our parents. We’ve been able to invest money into counseling, books, dates and vacations to help our marriage continue to flourish.

I don’t feel like you can put a price on counseling for marriage. It isn’t just for those who are facing divorce or have some deep issue going on. It can be for maintenance in your marriage and help you understand one another and grow together.

I personally know several friends who’ve gone through counseling with their spouses and have benefited so much from it. I recommend seeing a licensed counselor with a Biblical worldview that can give educated and also godly counsel.

Learn to laugh together and to lean on the Lord! He designed this beautiful covenant and He has all of the wisdom we need to build our marriages well.


My biggest confession of all is that I wish I’d met and married Stephen sooner! Life with him really is the best!

50 Shades of Grey- 1 Shade of Purity

50 1 Shades of Grey Purity


**Warning: this blog contains sexual content. Please be advised before continuing.


Let me starts off this blog by saying that I know nothing of the details of the book or movie, “50 Shades of Grey” and I’m not going to pretend that I do because I don’t. I’ve seen enough circulating through social media internationally, read an article from Focus on the Family, and I have heard from people I know who’ve struggled with “reading porn” as they’ve described it by say this book/movie is sexually impure.

I’m not about to go researching and opening myself up to it’s content of just how sexually perverted it is to further a point.

My purpose in writing this is not to discuss something I don’t know anything about, but my intention instead is to write about what I do know something about; purity.

The definition of purity is freedom from adulteration or contamination, freedom from immorality, especially of a sexual nature.

To be pure is to be in an unadulterated state. The color white for example is pure when no other colors are added to it. You have to begin adding other colors to it to make even the slightest shade of “off-white”. Once you do this, the color is no longer white. It becomes a compromised shade of white, but not true white.

When we give into an impurity in our lives, we are changing the original state of purity God has given to us through the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. Even if it seems only like a slight toleration of sin, it contaminates our spirits.

Jesus didn’t die to give us an opportunity to go from living in darkness of sin to a life of compromising shades of grey. He says in the book of Revelation to the “Lukewarm Church” that “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” If black and white could be compared to hot and cold, then…

Grey=Lukewarm=vomit to Jesus.

Jesus goes on to say,” I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent” 

He desires that we gain purity from Him and see Him rightly. He gives us an opportunity to repent (or turn away from) our sin and tolerance of the sin in our culture. There is only 1 shade the LIGHT of Christ can have and he desires that we be “hot” for Him. That our lives display radical love and devotion to Him. When we walk in this light, we avoid the various shades of compromise.

I’m speaking from a place of knowing both sides of the sexual purity coin so to speak. I am not hurling accusations and judgments of “you are wrong!”. I am however sharing a much better way to live in the freedom and purity Jesus Christ died to give us.



I know the heart wrenching gut piercing pain of sexual immorality. I know what it’s like to feel like all you are is a sexual object to the opposite sex. I was raised in a way where all I saw from media particularly MTV was that women are sexual objects. As a woman, I was supposed to be sexy, men were supposed to like my butt, and I was supposed to do everything to make myself look and act in an appealing way. From Britney Spears music videos to “The Thong Song” (yes that was a real song) to obsessing with boy bands like *NSYNC, I knew sexual hype as well as any American MTV watching teenager would. I went to a school where sexual sin was happening on my school bus rides home in 6th grade! I too found myself in the hands of sexual sin later on and while I didn’t ever have sex, lust was in my heart and in those of many around me.

When I truly gave my life to Jesus as a 16-year-old girl, my life drastically began to change. I wish I could say that was when the sexual sin ended in my life, but it was a couple more years before the bondage truly broke. While my heart desired to be free and I wasn’t pulled towards lust, my identity hadn’t completely changed and I allowed myself to be in a poor unhealthy relationship.



Thankfully, Jesus is relentless in His pursuit of us and His word speaks. I got free from that relationship and was truly free from lust and sexual sin. Real freedom was in my life for 8 full years before meeting my husband, Stephen. During those 8 years, I didn’t set my eyes on movies, TV shows, or books that had impure sexual content. I did not listen to any secular music that was sung by anyone who dressed inappropriately or who sang about seduction and lust. Not because women who dressed seductively bothered me, but I wasn’t about to open myself to their seductive spirit and embody that in my life. I now had a deep satisfying love in Jesus.

I was labeled by many terms as, “strict”, “prude”, and “legalistic”. I was told even by Christians that, “I’d never get married”, “my standards were too high” & even that “it was ok to ‘mess around’ when you found the right one”.

WHY wouldn’t I listen to “so and so”? It was just a song with fun lyrics. WHY wouldn’t I go to “whatever” movie? It was only PG-13.

My heart would respond within myself, “Because I’ve found a greater love”.

I had experienced the deep radical life changing love of Jesus Christ. He turned my sin and my heartache into a new life full of His joy and His peace…AND His purity. I was washed as white as snow. I was and still am NOT PERFECT, but I was content in my love for Him. Even though I was a normal 20-something young adult and noticed Godly and attractive men around me, I wasn’t ever fixated on being in a relationship. I loved them as brothers in the Lord and learned from my interactions with them what I desired or didn’t desire in a husband.

Jesus had my gaze. He had my FULL heart and I cherished the newfound purity I’d found in Him. The freedom was real. The LOVE that replaced lust was fierce and released my heart into the healthiest view of what real love was.



IMG_6806 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Hebrews 13:4

When my husband and I dated and were engaged, there was NEVER a single moment where I felt unsafe, felt lust from him, or entertained lust in my own heart.

Even as I prepared to be married and what would eventually take place between us sexually, my heart and mind were guarded by such a healthy purity based in the peace of God. I wasn’t scared, intimidated, fearful, or felt the need to be seductive. We never compromised our sexual purity and we got to learn together which is SO BEAUTIFUL and SO WORTH THE WAIT!

In my marriage now, I am completely secure that my husband is never going to cheat on me, lust after other women, secretly look at porn, criticize my body, make impure sexual requests, or violate me in any way.

I likewise can truly say the same. There is no one else that my heart desires. There is no other man on the planet of 7 billion people who I would ever desire or fantasize being with sexually or emotionally! When I said, “yes” to marrying Stephen even before we said, “I Do”, I ended my search. When we committed to marriage, we vowed before God and invited Him into the middle of our marriage as the “glue” so to speak to unite us together.

When one continues searching, lusting, filling voids in their heart with impure things, they are denying God’s work in their lives and in their marriage/future marriage.

The subject of sexual purity is not favorable in our world today, because few are willing to pay the price to have it.

I’m not saying that I am, “holier than thou” because I have am walking out a sexually pure life or because our marriage embodies this. It is nothing I could’ve ever done on my own or Stephen on his own. This was why I shared a piece of my testimony with sexual sin above.

What I am saying is that it was because we gave our lust and our sin COMPLETELY over to Jesus so that HE alone worked purity in our lives by showing us what REAL LOVE is.

While sex is definitely important and necessary in a healthy Godly marriage, it’s NOT the most important thing or the only thing! I’m just being honest about my life with you because if sex was the complete basis for our marriage or if we were both “in lust” and not walking in the love Jesus has given us for one another, we wouldn’t be able to walk through the challenges that life brings. If we only related to each other sexually, our marriage wouldn’t last because we need the love of Christ and His purity to relate to one another emotionally and spiritually as well as sexually. Without His love, the door for lust and the need for sexual entertainment would be WIDE OPEN.

There are enough marital problems in the world today that I would say are indicative of various “shades of grey”. We have an opportunity to receive Jesus’ love, redemption and invite Him into the center of our marriages. This will cause us to stand out against all of the grey and be marked with the purity of His great light.

I realize some might read this post that don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ and/or don’t believe in being accountable to the Bible. That’s why I’m not just quoting what scripture says about sexual sin. To those that the above applies to, I leave you with the hope that my testimony has of how Jesus Christ has changed my life in this area.

I am so grateful I don’t have to walk in the shame, guilt, and weight of lust any longer. I’m thankful that I have a pure marriage and a healthy sex life with my husband who loves me. Thankful that beyond my spouse loving me purely, I have Jesus and I don’t need a book or movie or celebrity idol to fulfill a void in my heart.

To those who do claim to love Jesus and hold their lives into account of the Word of God, I leave you with this scripture that applies far beyond “50 Shades of Grey”. Revelation 2:20 “Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.”

YES Jesus embodies love and His love is patient, His love is kind…but He still IS JUDGE. He, not Bailey Kuert, will judge your entire life one day according to His standards, not my opinion. He sent guidelines AND warnings in His word to prepare each of us to live holy and to seek Him. I know we all won’t be perfect and will struggle with things in this life, but He has paid the price to give us freedom in Him. He has given us the gift of His life to have peaceful lives, to not live struggling with sexual sin. He tells us to repent and if we say our lives are under His Lordship, there is no excuse for compromise.

 When God calls something sin, that’s the final word on the matter. Our justification or tolerance of it won’t change the truth.

 Let’s call this book and the other sexual immoral entertainment we have in our lives for what it is, sin. Let’s bring it to the foot of the cross of Jesus, repent, and replace it with a perfect love that brings life and hope! Let’s embrace the 1 shade of purity and ask for His empowerment of the Holy Spirit to live holy lives.

 **Please feel free to share this blog :) I deeply desire people to know there IS freedom in Jesus Christ to live a pure and holy life.


For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality-1 Thess 4:3

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.-Col 3:5

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.-1 Cor 6:18