The Little Foxes

“Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” Songs of Solomon 2:15

The context of the verse is Solomon and his bride delighting in one another, which started in chapter 1 of the book and carried on to chapter 2. Verse 15 of chapter 2 caught my attention. I was wondering what the little foxes could be and how they would ruin their vines. Foxes are animals usually symbolic of deceit. They’re known for being subtle and crafty. Does this remind you of anyone? There are diverse ways this verse could be applied. I thought of it in terms of relationships. My relationship with my husband, my relationship with God, and The Church’s relationship with Christ.

“take us the foxes”

Whatever the foxes are, this right here is telling me that I can’t catch them on my own. It’s implying teamwork, “US”. Like Solomon and his bride, my husband and I need to strategize as a team against the foxes.

“the little foxes”

This tells me “the foxes” isn’t one huge fox or many huge foxes but several small ones. The trivial things. The petty things that are subtle. The things that get brushed off or go unnoticed but has lasting and damaging effects.

“that spoil the vine”

These little foxes apparently can cause some considerable damage. When something is spoiled it just needs to be thrown away. It can no longer serve its purpose. It’s no longer fit for use. We really need to beware of these little foxes; intentionally paying attention.

“for our vines have tender grapes”

“Tender grapes” here to me implies something that is already fruitful. It’s delicate, growing, and maturing. Unless the little foxes are caught those fruitful vines and tender grapes will be spoiled.

Solomon and his bride compared their relationship to a vineyard that is fruitful. His bride concluded that if they don’t come together to protect it, it will be ruined by the little foxes. Likewise, my marriage and my relationship with my husband will be ruined if we don’t work together against the little foxes that can destroy a marriage or intimacy. The same is true for my relationship with God. God is faithful in doing his part. I need to stay alert and beware of the little foxes that can destroy my relationship with Christ. I don’t have to do it alone either. I have his Holy Spirit to help me maintain our relationship. Both relationships need to be guarded against the forces that will stunt their growth and fruitfulness.

The following 7 little foxes can spoil any good relationship:

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In my relationship with Christ these little foxes can be sinful appetites, lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, the pride of life, comprise with worldly standards, disobedience, and indulgence in the desires of the flesh. I’m thankful for the power of the Holy Ghost to help me overcome these things in our relationship. He helps me to live a godly lifestyle that will keep our relationship growing and thriving.

This scripture can also be seen in relations to “The Church” (Bride of Christ) and its relationship with Jesus (The Groomsman). There are many little foxes that will attempt to spoil this relationship. The primary little fox in relations to this specific scripture is false lying prophets. The prophet Ezekiel talk about them in Ezekiel 13:4-16. The Apostle Peter also talk about them in 2 Peter 2:1-3. These are people who come in the name of the Lord and claim God said things he had not said. They cause people to believe the lies they are speaking and hope in them. God is against them. They seduce people away from the truth of God. The false teachers that are teaching heresies and their own truths that cannot be found in scripture. They will not go unpunished. God cast the angels that sinned down to hell for judgment. He will do the same with all false teachers and lying prophets that are deceiving his bride. They’re mentioned again by John in Revelation 2:2. These are people claiming to be an apostle but are liars who will be exposed by God in the end. Foxes are known to be destructive to vineyards. If the church is not cautious these little foxes can spoil many in the church through false doctrine and teachings.

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TEAMWORK, unity, is one sure way to catch the little foxes and destroy them. Whether it’s alongside your spouse or with the Holy Ghost, we need more than just ourselves to prevent our fruitful vines and tender grapes from being spoiled. We might be able to identify the little foxes individually, but it takes working with one another to conquer them. Solomon’s bride realized what they had was special, but it would take the two of them to protect it.

 

BEWARE OF THE LITTLE FOXES!

Share Your Love

LOVE

 

 

Life on earth is short. One day each one of our lives will come to an end. As written in the Bible, we’re a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Our lives are frail and not one of us know our end. We don’t have the slightest idea when our spirit will return to God and our bodies back to dust. I encourage you not to wait until it is too late or no longer matters to express love, care about others, and show kindness. Be concern now. Love even when it’s not Valentine’s Day or considered love month. Don’t get caught up being bitter, prideful, petty, holding grudges, bickering, or being selfish. Now is the time to show concern and pray. Share your love now when others can receive it. Be intentional about loving.

 

Share something in the comment section that reminds you of love or reminds you to love.

 

Your favorite verse on love

Your favorite song of love

An act of love

Your thoughts on love

Your Valentine’s Day

 

One of my favorite songs of love is “Forever Yours” by Smokie Norful.

https://youtu.be/1V8y2qLuaHA

Finding Love

I’ve heard them say that love is blind.

Deceitful hearts blind them from seeing true love.

The love I know gave sight to the blind.

He sees all things.

God, is the love I know.

So, you see…

Love cannot be blind.

Love saw me when I believed love was blind.

Love saw me when I believe love hurt.

Love saw me when I couldn’t love myself.

I was so far from the truth, blinded by disappointments, hurt, and heartbreak.

My emotions and what I chose to believe made me blind to love.

Rejection hurt, lies hurt, hurt people hurt other people, manipulations hurt, deceit hurt, anger, and bitterness hurt.

Love, love doesn’t hurt. Love isn’t blind.

Love is patient.

Love is kind.

Love is humble.

Love forgives.

Love heals.

God is love, love cannot be blind.

The thoughts of a younger me after finding love for the very first time. I found love in Jesus. It took getting my heart broken to know God is love. That doesn’t have to be your story. Struggling to deal with my broken heart, confused about the true meaning of love, in my quest to find comfort no one was able to offer me, I discovered 1 John 4 verse 8: “but anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love”. Truth be told, I didn’t know God. That scripture captured my attention and I became determined to know who God was. I wanted to find love. If he is love as the scripture said, I would find it once I find him. The more I knew God the more I understood love. I realized searching for love in all the wrong places and people. I searched for romantic love, but God’s unconditional love was what I needed.

My parents did the best they could as parents to raise me. They did everything they knew to the best of their abilities but even their love (Storge) was not enough for me. I gave myself to romantic love (Eros). Too young, too soon. I was left at my darkest. It was never the will of God for me. Romantic love is great when it’s done right and shared with a deserving person. In the present, I can say I am happily married and can experience romantic love the way God intended. I’m not at all implying my marriage is perfect or easy but I know I chose to share my love with someone who deserves it. He knows God and understands love. While I am content with my husband’s love, it could never replace the love of God. We are growing in love. Our love would be weak and meaningless if God wasn’t our main source of love.

I found God searching for love, and unconditional love in God. He is the beginning and author of familial love, brotherly love, and even romantic love. To manifest his love toward us, God wrapped himself in flesh as Jesus to die for us (1 John 4:9). Because of his love I can love myself, my family, my friends, and community. Love came down to rescue me. He sacrificed himself so I can have eternal life (John 3:16). His love is selfless and sacrificial. A person can give without loving but it is impossible to and not give. Because God is love, love is patient, love is kind, love is humble, love forgives, love gives, love keeps no record of wrong, and love is not easily angered. There is no greater love than the love of God (John 15:13). “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”, Romans 5 verse 8. There are so many circumstances that can change or get in the way of romantic, familial, and brotherly love. Nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39).

 

While you are out enjoying Love Month and Valentine’s Day, don’t forget the greatest love, God’s unconditional love.

 

The Adams
The Adams. Photo captured by Life With The Crooks Photography lifewiththecrooks.com. Dress and Bow tie made by Kylia Campbell Designs, LLC kyliacampbell.com

2 Forms of Love Mentioned in The Bible

Many worldwide consider the month of February as the “Month of Love” or “Love Month”. I always viewed it as just another month because I want to be shown love on a consistent basis, not just when February comes around. I am here for the celebration though, I’m not mad at it. I celebrate Valentine’s Day. I love when I receive roses, chocolate, or a thoughtful gift. I enjoy dressing up and going on a nice date. However, I don’t restrict or bind love to this one month or day of celebration. I am not at all suggesting that’s what others do. I’m not mad at anyone who does. When my husband and I were just courting he would surprise me in the most unexpected ways. It was our first Valentine’s Day and I wasn’t expecting anything. He had the second key to my car. I woke up that morning and found my car washed and cleaned, the most beautiful dozens of red roses, a nice card he wrote in, and my favorite chocolate., and a full tank of gas. I woke up feeling super spoiled. I loved every minute of it. What was special about it wasn’t the fact that he showered me with so many gifts in one day or that it was on Valentine’s Day, it was the fact that this was a regular habit of his. He always found a way to surprise me and didn’t always have to spend any money either. There was a huge my size teddy bear along with the other gifts that I did not care for. A lot of women I know love them, but I am not fond of teddy bears or stuffed animals at all. I had to find a kind way to communicate to him my dislike for them and balloons to avoid getting more in the future. Of course, I did this after I expressed my appreciation for him and what he did. Can you imagine how disappointed and upset I would have been if my hope for love and expectations of him was placed in that one day of celebration?

JOHN 3

So, let us talk about love. I think it’s safe to say love is important to us all in some way, shape, or form. The problem is many of us are confused about love, what it is, how to love or be loved. Some people might say they have never experienced real love. While many others are stuck fearing love.

 

LOVE DEFINED

  • An intense feeling of deep affection
  • A person or thing that one loves
  • Sexual passion or desire
  • Deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone

RELATED WORDS

  • Adoration
  • Very strong liking
  • Affection
  • Appreciation
  • Delight
  • Emotion
  • Zeal
  • Fond
  • Infatuation
  • Enchantment
  • Lust
  • Worship
  • Yearning
  • Weakness

 

The definition of love and related is very interesting. It will all sound strange if one doesn’t know or understand that there are different forms of love. Ancient philosophers identified four forms of love: Storge, Philio, Eros, and Agape.

  1. STORGE: essential, familial love, natural affection.
    1. The love of a parent(s) for their child.
  2. PHILIO: friendly virtuous love.
    1. Loyalty to one’s family, friends, and community which requires virtue and familiarity.
  3. EROS: romantic, passionate love.
    1. Sensual desires or longing felt for another person.
  4. AGAPE: a pure type of love, divine love.
    1. The love of God for humanity.

The Bible mentions only two of the forms of love identified by philosophers. We can find “AGAPE” and “PHILIO” in the New Testament portion of the Bible. Agape love is described as unconditional, selfless, and charitable. Jesus is the prime example of agape love. It’s the kind of love Christians aspire to have for one another. Especially for a person that is an enemy. Philio love is described as “brotherly love”. It’s our human responsibility for one another. Our delightful commitment and loyalty to our family, friends, church, and community.

The Bible teaches us God is love (1 John 4:8). We can’t have agape or philio love apart from God. Love comes from God and he is the source of love. Through Christ, we can have an unconditional love for others. That includes love for ourselves and people we are not fond of. Jesus told us to love our enemies, bless those that curse us, do good to those that hate us, and pray for those that use us (Matthew 5:43-48). When we are truly saved we can not love just the people who love us or make us feel good. That is what the world does. Unconditional and brotherly love requires us to be like Christ. Jesus made it clear in Mark 12 verse 28 to 34, that we must love others the way we love ourselves. He said it’s the second most important commandment. The first being loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul explained to us if we don’t have love we have nothing. It doesn’t matter what we do, without love it is meaningless. Love is the greatest. His explanation helps us to understand the nature of love. John, in 1 John 4 verse 17 to 11, reminds us to continue to love one another because love comes from God. If we cannot love other people, then we don’t really know God. He went on to say, real love is not us loving God but God’s sacrifice of himself to take away our sins. For that reason, we must love others.

 

God is love… 1 John 4:8

Love is… 1 Corinthians 13

Love is the greatest… 1 Corinthians 13:13

Love others… 1 John 4:7

Love covers… 1 Peter 4:8

There is no fear in love… 1 John 4:18

Do all things in love… 1 Corinthians 16:14

 

ROMANS 8

 

ANXIOUS?

For anybody that’s struggling with stress & anxiety:

I struggled a lot with anxiety in my college years. I know that it’s different for everyone, being that the source of anxiety and levels of it varies. I became obsessed with proving my parents wrong & anyone else that said my life would amount to nothing. At the time, I wasn’t making wise decisions or living entirely right, so I struggled a lot. I developed so many fears. I was afraid I would never graduate, I would never become successful, or ever become who I planned to be. The list goes on. I did not think I had what it takes anymore to achieve my goals. My anxiety grew as I started focusing on where I should have been and the things I should have accomplished at that point in my life. Constant trips back to the mistakes I made was fuel to the fire. I became so anxious, I started having panic attacks any time I thought of my past or future. I hated where I was, so much that I had the worse thoughts one could imagine. I was so uncertain about life. I did end going to the ER several times. 

I did not tell my parents what I was going through. They were a part of my problem at the time. I did not think they would understand, nor have a solution for me. I tried so hard to live up to their expectations, and when I fell short the criticism was not constructive but rather unbearable. I tried to perfect everything I did and was unreasonably hard on myself. I lived a stressful life. I was already saved. I gave up the world and worldly things. Alcohol used to be one of my coping mechanisms. I didn’t turn back but I didn’t know how to deal my stress and anxiety or who I could talk to. People don’t really talk about being stress or anxious or depressed.

One night, I had the worse panic attack I had ever have. I was losing my mind, strength in body, and I felt like I was going to die. The spirit of fear was in my room with me. I felt like I was being sucked into this never-ending black hole of fear and darkness. During my darkness, I heard the voice of God. He said, “The Word”. It repeated in my mind, until I got the understanding, grab your bible and read it. I did. I read out loud. All I knew after that was that I woke up the following day in complete peace. I prayed and asked God to show me what was happening to me and what I can do about it. He did. God showed me fear was the root of anxiety. The Bible has two types of fear, the Fear of the LORD and the spirit of fear. I was dealing with the spirit of fear. It is not of God. I had to rebuke it and pray against it. I studied several scriptures about the difference between the two. I also study scriptures about what the Word said about being anxious, worrying, and God’s promises about the future. 

I continued to pray. I memorized scriptures of love, truth, and trust in God to help me overcome. With God, I conquered the spirit of fear. I could discern what the source of my fears was, what about them that causes me to be anxious, and lead to me panicking. I could deal with each one and eliminate them out of my life.

God gives us a spirit of love, power, and a sound mind. I spend a lot of time exercising, reading, and cooking. I went walking and running often, and intentionally take notice of the positive things in my life. Whenever I felt anxious, I could identify what it was, pray about it and read the word. I focused on life one day at a time. God knew my future, I trust him to give me an expected end. I stayed away from things and people that would give me any reason to be anxious. I focused on things that brought joy and peace. I made pleasing God my priority. I learned to manage stress and found the proper response to anxiety. 

Today, even though I have faced many trials and stressful events I no longer struggle with anxiety or have panic attacks. When I feel overwhelmed, I take it to God and find peace in him through his word. I step away from things and people that are toxic to my well-being. Most importantly, I learned to deal with myself. I must be honest with God and myself about what is truly wrong with me and face these things.