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

 

ACTS OF LOVE

MATTHEW 25:40

Spread joy, kindness, and love.

Matthew 25:31-46

31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing?39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’

44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’

45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

We often measure the importance of things or people by how much time we are willing to invest in them. We invest time in things or relationships that are important to us. 1 John 3:18 says, “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” In other words, loving anyone requires action.  God gave himself for us because he loved us (John 3:16). It was an unconditional sacrifice of love. A person can give without loving, but it is impossible to love without giving. Whenever we give our time to anything or anyone, we are making a sacrifice. Sacrifice is an attribute of love.

GET RID OF BITTERNESS

When I was in high school I dated this guy and in my mind, I thought he was it. It was real for me. This man did everything wrong you could have imagined; from lying to cheating with multiple women, and even being in other relationships. We broke up once and like any naïve, clueless, loyal woman “in love” with too much time invested I took him back. Nothing had changed, he was worse than before. I thought I could eventually change him and he’d realize I was worth more than that and do right by me. It is heartbreaking when a man can look you in the eye and say I love you, you can trust me, while he’s lying to you and cheating on you knowing you are loyal and faithful to him. He was only committed in words to my face, nothing else, nothing more. One day, he decided the military was the option for him and it was best we separated until he was ready in the future. I made sure to let him know that was it for me. There will never be a future for us. I had enough, I already sacrificed too much, I’m worth more than that, I deserve better, and would never be an us from that day forward. That day was in September 2009. I promised myself I would never let another use me or take advantage of me that way.

He wasn’t God’s will for my life. I had made a very costly mistake and unwise decision. We weren’t in a godly relationship, that eventually cost me my deepest regret & most precious part of me. I grieved it years after. I felt so ashamed, embarrassed, felt betrayed, guilty, heartbroken. I experienced so much regret and was extremely BITTER. I cried for days; not over him or losing a man worth keeping. I cried because I invested so much of myself in a person and relationship that I could never get back. I cried for the time and years wasted that could not be undone. I cried because I experienced some painful things no one should. I cried because I needed to release the pain I felt. From September 2009 to the end of that year I made it my goal to get myself together and focus on the things that matter. I stopped crying and turn to God. That was the only sure way I knew to stop the pain I felt and be restored. Through prayer and reading God’s Word I was over him and over it all. It was then God taught me true love 1 John 4:8. I meditated on that scripture and studied it, along with many others about love.

I thought I was good but throughout my pain and hurting process, the seed of bitterness grew within me. It took root and flourished. I despised all men and wanted nothing to do with any man. I couldn’t wait for that guy to hurt the way he had hurt me. I wanted him to suffer so he could feel the pain I felt. In my heart, I had murdered him (“Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer:” 1 John 3:15). I didn’t understand why God allowed him to hurt me and continued living. I didn’t want him to exist or ever have to look at him. I felt like he didn’t deserve any mercy. I was bitter and hateful and didn’t even realize it. I never thought I was capable of such feelings. I thought I was better than that. I began to have a series of dreams where my ex was begging me for forgiveness, “please forgive me”. Each time in each dream I would reply NO then walk away. I talked to my godmother about the dreams and she advised me to pray, God was trying to show me something.

I prayed to God. I asked him to help me understand the dreams and their meaning. I asked God to expose anything that was left in me I was still holding on, anything that was hidden from my knowledge. I didn’t believe I could ever hate anyone. I asked God to reveal it to someone and send that person to me. About a weeks later, my pastor at the time called me early Saturday morning to speak with me about a vision God gave him while he was in prayer. I didn’t have a close/trusting relationship with him or ever talked to him about the things that happened to me. He told me while he was praying God gave him a vision of God and myself. God was trying to take something away from me but I wasn’t letting it go. He said he’s not 100% sure what it was but from what God showed him it might be anger, hurt, or bitterness. As soon as he said that I remembered the prayer I prayed. I told him I knew what he was talking about and he told me then you should know what to do.

I went straight to my room that day and poured my heart out to God. I wept like I never had before. I told God how hurt I was, how betrayed I felt, how that guy never apologized to me for any hurt he caused me, I asked God to consider all the wrongs this man had done to me, how evil he was for hurting me and betraying my trust, and how I didn’t deserve any of it. God listened. As I sat silently before him. God pulled out a mirror and he led me to consider it. He asked me, what about you? Your own poor decisions allowed some of your hurt. You contributed to your own heartache. Why haven’t you trust me? I have been loyal and faithful to you. Why haven’t you accepted my love? I have pursued you. My love is pure. What about how you’ve wronged me and disobeyed my Word? How you ignored my warnings? At that moment, I realized how messed up I was myself, the lack of heart and respect I had for God and his Word, how I had defile myself, how lost and confused I had been, how broken I truly was, and how I was not any better than him. God gave me the scripture “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” Matthew 6:15. Just like my ex I needed forgiveness, I never apologize to God for my wrongs, I was a sinner in need of grace and salvation, and I had wrong God on so many levels and ways. Forgiving was no longer a choice. That was the day I begin to fall in love with God and his Word.

Bitterness is a poisonous root. Anger, depression, anxiety are all things that grow out of the root of bitterness. We complain when we’re bitter and unable to see God working on our behalf. I expressed to God I didn’t how to let go, and where to begin uprooting my bitterness. I didn’t have the strength. I told God I didn’t know how to truly forgive but if he showed me how I would do it. God did it. I repented of my sins and wrongs. God taught me several more scriptures about forgiveness. I have all my hurt, regret, anger, and bitterness to God. I left it there at his feet then allowed him to restore me. He stayed very close and healed my broken heart. He gave me peace and I found true love in him. He has since been my model for love and forgiveness. I could, later on, write a letter to my ex and express that I forgave him for everything. I forgave him because God had forgiven me. He never apologized or said I’m sorry. I was no longer searching or waiting for that. I found peace and LOVE, God himself. No man can compare to that.

If you want to heal from emotional wounds:

Let God rescue you from death and forgive all your sins Isaiah 38:17

Bitterness will hold you captive by sin Acts 8:23. Let it go.

Ask yourself: “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!” Psalms 43:5

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.” Ephesians 4:31

 

God is love! True love, forgiveness, and healing start with God.

 

God allowed it all to save me from a terrible situation. He had a better plan and a future for me. I’m married to one of the best husbands any woman could hope for. I would not trade the joy, peace, and amazing husband God blessed me with for anything I had then.

Once In A Lifetime