Author Archive for: Ashley Cottrell

About Ashley Cottrell

Interested in reading more of her work? Check out her blog: www.ashleyamor.com With a B.A in English, Ashley Cottrell has written blogs for Virginia Bride Magazine, Bronze Mag, and has been a contributing writer for numerous other digital entities. Although a Virginia-native, Ashley resides in Puerto Rico fulfilling her passion as a freelance writer. She aims to use her gift of writing to inspire others and share the gospel of Christ. When she's not writing, you can find her nose-deep in a game of chess, Salsa dancing, or making homemade skin care products.
  •   Kim and Kanye. Brad and Angela. Beyonce and Jay Z. How many celebrity couples do we follow or idolize? Sometimes, it’s not even a celebrity, but a cute couple’s photo we might scroll pass on Instagram and immediately think “I want that type of relationship.” Let’s be honest with ourselves. How many images of […]

    #RelationshipGoals

     

    Kim and Kanye. Brad and Angela. Beyonce and Jay Z.

    How many celebrity couples do we follow or idolize? Sometimes, it’s not even a celebrity, but a cute couple’s photo we might scroll pass on Instagram and immediately think “I want that type of relationship.” Let’s be honest with ourselves. How many images of couples have we seen, whether on social media or in magazines and assumed that their relationship is perfect? I’ll admit it; I was guilty of that in the past. Photos labeled with a hashtag Relationship Goals are a trend, not motivation. If we’re not careful, we may begin to worship false representations of love and relationships.

    So, how should we as Christians learn about love and healthy relationship habits?

    Plain and simple: by focusing on God. His love and desire for a relationship with us, as well as teaching us how to have one, is expressed through Jesus Christ and throughout the Bible. Let’s take a look at how Scripture identifies the three most sought for characteristics in a loving relationship:   

    INTIMACY

    Ever since the beginning of creation, God intended closeness and deep affection with humans. We were the only creatures crafted by His hand and directly receiving His Breath of Life [Gen. 2:7]. The Bible tells of Adam and Eve originally living in total and complete harmony with God, able to speak directly to Him. Fast forward to the New Testament; we see that Jesus Christ was able to do the same thing. He often left crowds to be in complete solitude, alone with God [Matt. 14:23].

    Having spent quality time creating us, God already knows everything about us, inside and out [Psalm 139]. How does one get to know another without spending quality time with them? Intimacy is developed, not discovered.

    COMMUNICATION

    You may have heard the saying, “Communication is key.” Why is that? It’s because communication enables us to understand one another’s thoughts and feelings. This way, we are aware of their needs, concerns, and experiences. How do we speak to God? Simple: Through prayer [Phil. 4:6]. How does God speak to us? By His Word [2 Tim. 3:16]. Effective communication requires both speaking and listening. Unfortunately, the problem occurs when people spend more time speaking than listening, or forget to listen altogether.

    FAITHFULNESS & COMMITMENT  

    “Thou shall have no other gods before me” [Exodus 20:3] Why would God say this, knowing that He is the only God? It’s because He knew that we could be easily swooned and redirect our attention to something else. Adultery is not only a sexual term. It’s also used to describe being emotionally unfaithful [Hosea 1:2], seeking happiness and contentment from someone else or something else. If we are to be faithful and committed to a relationship, we have to be careful of who we listen to or allow to influence us. There is a reason scripture tells us to guard our hearts [Prov. 4:23] and that bad company corrupts good character [1 Cor. 15:33].

    It’s no mistake why the Bible often uses spousal analogies to describe Christ’s love and affection toward the church [2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:25]. With that said, don’t be misled by social media photos of couples who “appear” happy and in love. We don’t know what goes on behind closed doors.What we do know, is that the faithful and Mighty God we serve, humbled Himself down to human form to dwell among us, embrace us, and ultimately, sacrifice Himself for us. That, in and of itself, is a relationship goal worth hashtagging.

     

     

    Photo by Naassom Azevedo on Unsplash

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  • I’m convinced that Jesus would win any triathlon. From walking dozens of miles across cities and up mountains [Matt 14:23], you’d have to admit He was pretty active. Many people during Biblical times were most likely in good shape. If we incorporate a few of their physical and dietary routines, I’m sure we’ll see a […]

    What We Can Learn From The Bible On Health and Fitness

    I’m convinced that Jesus would win any triathlon. From walking dozens of miles across cities and up mountains [Matt 14:23], you’d have to admit He was pretty active. Many people during Biblical times were most likely in good shape. If we incorporate a few of their physical and dietary routines, I’m sure we’ll see a positive change in our physique and overall wellbeing.

    Walking & Cardio

    We know that cars and carriages didn’t exist back then, but truth told, many of the people mentioned in the Bible couldn’t afford horses and donkeys. They literally walked everywhere, dozens of miles to work, relay messages, to visit family members, and so on.

    Now I’m not saying trade in your car for a durable pair of shoes, but adding physical activities into your daily routine is a start. Something as simple as a morning jog (or walk) around your neighborhood, or walking to your nearest grocery store for food are great ways to incorporate more cardio into your day. According to LiveStrong, walking at least 30 minutes a day helps build and strengthen your muscles, relieves stress, reduce the risk of heart disease, and increases your metabolism, helping to lose or maintain weight.         

    Physical Activities

    Also, many of their jobs were hands-on activities. Carpentry, farming, reeling in fishnets, fetching water from wells–those weren’t easy tasks, especially when performed every day. And if you pay attention to their average lifespans, many folks during Biblical times lived well past their nineties. Since we now have machines to do much of that type of work in today’s society, voluntary physical labor is considered exercise.

    Exercise is any bodily exertion or activity requiring physical effort. When performed regularly, it improves overall health and, according to a Harvard Health Study, helps us live longer. And remember, exercise doesn’t have to be a gym workout or boring fitness routines. Swimming, dancing, pilates, rock-climbing, kickboxing, are all great ways to get your heart pumping and tone muscles.

    Eating Habits

    You may have heard in your church or from a nutritionist of a dietary plan called the “Daniel Fast.” Whether for spiritual or physical reasoning, the Daniel Fast is known to have a plethora of health benefits. Rooted from the Biblical book of Daniel, this diet (or fast) mimics the story of Daniel and his three close friends restricting their food intake to only fruits and vegetables, and drinking only water for an extended amount of time. The result? Daniel and his friends looked healthier and appeared stronger than those around them who indulged in meat, pastries, and wine [Daniel 1:11-16].

    You don’t have to be a vegetarian/vegan, but refraining from certain meats and foods loaded with fat and grease is wise. Fried and processed foods containing unhealthy amounts of salt and sugars not only slow down your metabolism but also can clog your arteries, increasing the risk of diabetes and diseases. Incorporating more fruits, vegetables, and water into your system will flush out toxins in your body, replace them with vitamins and antioxidants, and will transform fat cells into energy.       

    Remember, your body is a temple [1 Corinthians 6:19], you only have one. It’s essential for us to be good stewards of our bodies so that God can trust us in doing His work here on earth. Let’s hold ourselves accountable and aim for healthy lifestyle habits in 2018!

     

     

     

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    Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

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