#3: Domestic Violence Awareness Blog Series

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(Courtesy: Beauty Cares.)
Many women who end up with an abusive husband never saw it coming. They either did not recognize the warning signs of domestic abuse or their partners never indicated that they had abusive tendencies until the moment they acted out the abuse. That is why it is important for us to learn exactly what those warning signs look like.
The 8 warning signs posted by Beauty Cares clearly represent behaviors that are sinful and may encompass verbal, physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse.

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It’s highly important that we recognize the warning signs no matter how subtle and innocent they appear to be.

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Whether you are married or dating, do not ignore the warning signs. Your life, physical and emotional well-being might be at risk if you do not pay attention. Without understanding what domestic violence or abusive behaviors look like and feel like, it becomes difficult to prevent them from taking place.
Recognizing Warning Signs = Knowledge = Increased Prevention
Thanks for taking time to recognize the signs with me today!
God bless!
Cassandra Salamone
All rights reserved.

#2: Domestic Violence Awareness Series

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Unlike this graphic portrayal of the Disney character Cinderella,
domestic violence is sadly a very real part of everyday life for many women. The ironic twist is that just as Cinderella’s glass coach reverted to its identity as a pumpkin and her dance with Prince Charming came to a jarring halt as the clock struck twelve, abused women have had their lives and well-being shattered as their husbands/boyfriends transform from being the men who love and adore them to being their worst nightmare.
Maybe you are facing domestic violence in your marriage. If you are, the question to ask is not “When did he stop treating you like a princess?” The important question to ask yourself is “What am I going to do to get my glass slipper back?  Because you lost something when the man you adored transformed! You lost a piece of your identity and you began to run from yourself inside as you faced the reality he began to show you. Back to that important question: you don’t have a fairy godmother. You can turn to God!!! Turn to Jesus and ask Him to make a way for you to find your slipper again: your peace, your joy, your health, your safety and security, the man you love once again!!! Trust Him and take action to get yourself some help and refuge from the abuse until you can safely reconcile with your Prince Charming without fear. Prince Charming needs to treat you like the princess, like the daughter of God that you are.
With love,
Cassandra Salamone
All rights reserved 2014

Domestic Violence Awareness Series: #1

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. I’m working on a blog series to address this serious issue ahead of time. I was reminded several days ago in my private FB group Marriage Mints Cup of Comfort~Wives Café  by a wife who reached out in her distress that domestic violence is an everyday issue for many women that is too often ignored and swept under the rug. Domestic violence is an issue that no one wants to experience, and many find it difficult to spend too much time thinking about because it disturbs their souls. I have fallen into the category of not wanting to think about it or to see images that show the hurtful truth of domestic violence. However, I now feel that as a Christian woman it is my duty and responsibility to be a light, just as Jesus calls us to be (Matt. 5:14).  I want to be a friend at all times, not just during the month of October when I can wear a purple ribbon and neatly pack it away when November begins. I want to be aware of domestic violence every month, so I can be a light of encouragement and support for women in darkness who are being abused–physically, verbally, emotionally, mentally, financially.
Part of being a light is not hiding from darkness or turning a blind eye to it (Matt. 5:15). Being a light means one must expose the darkness. Therefore, because it is important to recognize it for the evil it truly is, everyday I will post a blog as part of this series to address domestic violence and educate other women. No mentally competent woman goes into a relationship with the intentions of being abused. Many simply don’t understand the warning signs of what domestic violence looks like. Domestic violence is as evil and sinister as adultery, and I pray that the series will encourage any of you who may be in an abusive marriage to get the help you need and the strength to get away from it.
Matthew 5:13-16
” 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

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If you do not feel safe in your own home, you need to take the necessary steps to either get away from the abuser or to have the abuser removed from your home by the authorities. If there was a rabid animal in your home, wouldn’t you call animal control to make sure that you didn’t get bitten? A violent or abusive person is like a diseased animal because they lack self-control and, if permitted, will inflict their rabid anger upon you.
No woman should have to live in fear under the tyrannical, intimidation of her husband, or any man, for that matter! Husbands are commanded by God to love and cherish their wives (Eph. 5:25). Wives need to understand that we are not commanded by God to submit to sin. Galatians 5:1 says: ” For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” I know this verse in its context is speaking about remaining free from a bondage of sin in Christ Jesus. I believe it can apply to this situation involving wives not submitting to sin of domestic violence.  Domestic violence is very much like a yoke of slavery or bondage as the abuser attempts to control their victim. A yoke is cumbersome and placed upon the shoulders of animals in order to control them. An abusive relationship can become like a yoke around the shoulders and neck of the one being abused. No one should have to bear up under the weight of another person’s anger and control issues. In Christ, we are free! Don’t allow yourself to be enslaved again! Amen!!!
Domestic violence is sin of wrath and has sadly ended in the murder of the abused victims, in plenty of cases. Therefore, if you feel your life or well-being are in danger, dial 911 and immediately take precautions to protect yourself!
Cassandra Salamone
All rights reserved. 2014

What if You Are the Only One Holding On?

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Ecclesiastes 4:12 ERV~ “An enemy might be able to defeat one person, but two people can stand back-to-back to defend each other. And three people are even stronger. They are like a rope that has three parts wrapped together—it is very hard to break.”
What if your spouse has let go of you and your marriage? Has the enemy truly won? You may feel that way and it may appear to be that the enemy has prevailed over your marriage. However,  that simply is not true because you are still hanging on–still holding on faithfully to your cord and God’s promises. Even if you are barely hanging on, have faith that you are not holding on alone!
The word I want to share with you is a word on faith.
◆ Satan operates through our doubt and unbelief. He knows just where to hit us!! All the sensitive spots and weak chinks in our armor we must strengthen because he knows where they are and waits to pounce on us when we are unprepared.
◆ God operates through our faith. God leaves it up to us to strengthen our grip on His promises. His Word tells us in Hebrews 10:23 KJV “ Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised”. Let’s look at what the Message version of that same verse says including verses 24-25: ” So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.” Hold fast to the profession of faith that your marriage can be restored without wavering for God is faithful who promised!!!
IT’S UP TO US TO BELIEVE in Him! God’s promises always come to pass so the ball is in our court to BELIEVE! Do you believe God can restore your marriage?
◆ Remember, in Mark 9, a father came to Jesus and asked Him if he was able…yes, if JESUS HAD THE ABILITY to cast out the demon that was trying to drown and burn his son alive in fires? We often bring our problems to God and say “God what can you do? Can’t you get rid of this trial that’s causing me so much heartache? We take our problems and give it to God.,, asking and praying but coming from a place of QUESTIONS and unbelief!
Read Mark 9:20-24~  ” 20 So they brought the boy. But when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw the child into a violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth.21 “How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father. He replied, “Since he was a little boy. 22 The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”
23 “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
24 The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
We have to stop asking if God will or can make His promises come to pass! Don’t ask if it’s possible for God to restore your marriage. KNOW AND BELIEVE that HE CAN!!! HE IS FAITHFUL!!!! And He is not a man that He could or would lie!  We have to ask Him to help us overcome our unbelief!  It’s up to us to believe on Him and His promises!
God is moved by our faith! “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrew 11:6).
We have to speak His Word aloud instead of worry, doubt, and fear-based questions rooted in unbelief. We have to renew our minds continually– strengthening our faith by reading His Word.
Uproot Doubt by ->> Changing what we speak->> Which reflects our brief. How Can You Uproot Fear and Doubt?
Philemon 1:6~ “That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.”
Change in our belief systems from unbelief to belief reflects a mind renewed in Christ!!! When we get a word, are in the presence of God and praising Him is not where our faith is. It is proven in the testing of whether we will stand and hold fast to God’s promises–that Word we received! It’s proven that by us not letting, but holding fast to believe, God will do what He says He will do!!! Your spouse may have let go of their cord, but you hold on tightly because God is still holding the first cord! He will not let you fall! Start right now to communicate and speak aloud of your faith in the restoration of your marriage by acknowledging every good thing which isvin you in Christ Jesus! In Christ, we are more than conquerors, not defeated by the enemy!
“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” – Romans 8:37
AMEN
Thank You Jesus!!!!♡
~Cassandra
All rights reserved. 

Excellent Wives

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Monday I will begin a study on “The Excellent Wife:Day by Day” devotional in my private Facebook group Marriage Mints Cup of Comfort~Wives Café. If you are looking to better yourself as a wife, according to God’s standards, do visit my group and request to be added! This is a season of order! Many want the blessings and restoration. Our God likes to bless where there is order, so even if your husband is out of order, come be a part of this blessed study and allow God to start ordering your household beginning with you! This study is truly going to bless us, especially those ladies who are facing difficulties in their marriages! I remember being in the valley in a desert season in my marriage when I felt very alone.  Drawing near to God and immersing myself in His Word as well as in studies of how to be the wife He calls me to be, made a tremendous difference! It made the valley ever so sweet and the desert became an oasis as I focused on allowing God to mold me and make changes in my heart. I remember being told that my dream to write books to help other wives would not happen because my marriage had not reached the mountaintop. I’m so glad that I disregarded that ill advice because not only did God give me a testimony to share in the valley, He gave me the basis for the books I did go on to write. He gave me peace that surpasses understanding and joy when if one looked at my circumstances,  by all natural means, I should have been depressed and defeated. I glowed with His peace and He used that to make my husband notice me again–not just in a new light but he caused my husband to really see me in His light! While I was in the valley, the Lord fanned the flames in me to have a desire to teach and help other wives to live “wisely and purely” so that His word is not disgraced. He gave me a heart to begin walking out my Titus 2 calling. My hope is that you’ll go into this study with me and know that God wants to use you too! He wants us to become excellent wives with our excellence not based on idolizing the picture of Proverbs 31 wife but based upon Christ’s excellence. He wants us to be diligent workers of our homes in making our homes a place that ushers in His presence and peace. He wants us to learn how to submit and how to love our husbands and children. It’s my hope that this study will bring glory to the Lord as He is magnified in our lives!
Titus 2:4-5~
” These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, 5 to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.”

2 Timothy 2:15 ~
” Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Cassandra Salamone ♡
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Lies Destroy Your Foundation of Trust

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Lies are like mold, and trying to rebuild your marriage on a foundation of lies and lack of integrity or past deceit is like laying down new tile atop moldy wooden floors. Lies destroy a marriage’s foundation of trust because just like mold, if the lies are not dismantled or treated (addressed) immediately, the one who has been betrayed will generally not trust their spouse from that point on. If they are not addressed and cleared up each time the mold resurfaces or questions arise, the foundation of trust will crumble to pieces. Lies and past deceit have to be eliminated!  Integrity must be reestablished as your foundation with solid reassurances and new behaviors to support your reassurances before you can proceed in renovating your marriage or it will rot from the foundation~ inside-out ~ due to lack of trust! Then, you will have to strip off the new tile to go back and address those old floors underneath. In these extreme cases, the unsalvageable floor has to destroyed and a new floor has to be built in its place. That means, the spouse who created the doubt, the mold, must replace the conduct that is impeding the progression of their marriage restoration and install new, Spirit-led behaviors for a sound, secure foundation of trust!  Better to take care of trust issues immediately so you don’t have to keep going back and addressing the old stuff that’s hidden and simply covered up. Amen!
~Cassandra ♡
All rights reserved.

Will It Be the Gnat or the Camel?

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I remember a time when I was so focused on all sorts of little things that I was bothered by concerning my husband. I would often give voice to them: “When’s the last time you wrote me a poem?” “Why don’t you want to sit with me and talk with me for hours like we did when we first met?” I can go on and on. How about you? Do you find yourself making a big deal out of so many small things? We can call them gnats because gnats are so tiny but can make a big impact on our peace. Gnats are bothersome and can quickly gather in swarms to overwhelm us.
When my husband and I first married each other, I found myself being overwhelmed rather suddenly by the multitude of trivial offenses and complaints that I had swarmed against him.  They were such small matters and yet I would sift through his conduct and who he is as my husband and try to set all of those irritations apart to justify my own rebellious ways. God allowed me to drink my own water–my own foolishness–for quite some time. Take a look at these verses and the commentary that follows to see if something within you lights up with recognition,
Matthew 23:23-24 ~ ” “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.”
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary*~
“24. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat—The proper rendering—as in the older English translations, and perhaps our own as it came from the translators’ hands—evidently is, “strain out.” It was the custom, says Trench, of the stricter Jews to strain their wine, vinegar, and other potables through linen or gauze, lest unawares they should drink down some little unclean insect therein and thus transgress (Le 11:20, 23, 41, 42)—just as the Buddhists do now in Ceylon and Hindustan—and to this custom of theirs our Lord here refers…and swallow a camel—the largest animal the Jews knew, as the “gnat” was the smallest; both were by the law unclean.”
When I read these verses this morning, I was reminded of how often I strained the gnats in favor of the camel. You might wonder what the camel was that I was swallowing in place of the gnats! The camel was my own sin!! I was swallowing the camel which was my own refusal to submit to God and to my husband. That was a far weightier and serious issue than for me to look for faults in my husband and to strain them to God in my prayers.  God turned my eyes to myself! Made me look at what I was really drinking! The verse that He corrected me with is Luke 6:41-42~ ” Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42″Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.” I was using a faulty strainer! Instead of focusing on my husband’s conduct, I needed to clean up my own! God is good!!! He delivered me from straining the gnats in favor of swallowing the camels. I’m not saying we are to ignore the small things, but pray and ask God to reveal what the bigger issue at hand really is. Let Him be the strainer! Pray this blesses you ♡
Cassandra~
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Knowing God in Dry Places

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Many of you are experiencing dry seasons in your marriage and may be feeling desolate, abandoned, and on the verge of giving up. You have walked obediently and faithfully, yet you are in this position. You may be asking God, “Why?” I want to encourage you by drawing upon the biblical account of Hagar’s story. God heard the cry of Hagar’s heart, and He hears the cries of yours, as well.
When we look at Hagar’s story in Genesis 16, we see that she was the Egyptian maid of Sarah. Sarah gave her maid to her husband Abraham, so that he might create a child with her that they could raise as their own. God had promised Abraham at the seasoned age of 99 that He would open Sarah’s womb and give them a child and establish an everlating covenant with their descendants. Sarah was at least 90 years old and doubted God’s promise. Sarah was trying to manifest and perpetuate God’s promise in her own striving. She was not patient to wait on God’s timing. When her maid became pregnant with Abraham’s child, Sarah became jealous and had her husband to send Hagar out from their midst into the desert and he left the decision up to Sarah. Hagar fled their midst on her own as Sarah began to mistreat her. Think how Hagar must have felt. She must have felt such betrayal, hurtm and resentment at being treated badly when all that she did was what her mistress Sarah had orchestrated between her and Abraham. She had obediently done her bidding, and now had to flee for her saftey in her pregnant condition. She probably cried out in her heart, ” Lord, isn’t that what I was called to do? To have a child for her husband? Now, I am being punished and  suffer for being obedient.” The angel of the Lord appeared to her and asked her why she was running away and encouraged her to return to Sarah and submit to her. ” Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.” The angel of the Lord also said to her:
“You are now pregnant
    and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,
    for the Lord has heard of your misery.” (Gen.16:9-11).
Let me encourage you that God has heard of your misery as well. Continue to submit and walk out your faithfulness. Don’t give up or run away. (Not speaking of situations of violence*). Continue believing God for His promises for your marriage to manifest! In your dry places you may be feeling depleted and filled with despair. Know that God has named your trial and hears your misery. Look upon your situation and like Hagar, declare the name of God according to your need. In your dry places, you may feel alone and invisible, but call on El Roi, the God who sees me! He sees you just like He saw Hagar!
” She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” (Gen.16:13)
I pray that in all of your dry places, in your heart, mind, and spirit, in your faith, and your marriage, that the Lord will cause your eyes to open up and see His provision and blessings right where you are. ” Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water.”(Gen.21:19). I pray Lord that You would cause us to see the wells You have put in place in our midst. Increase our faith and help us to understand that You are not a God who sits aloof and uninvolved in our struggles. You are El Roi, the God who sees me! You see each and every detail of our lives. Lord, comfort every wife and let her know that You hear her cries. Give her the strength to do what is Your will in spite of troubles. Let her not be afraid but help her to know that Your promises are true. Open our eyes to see the wells where we can be refreshed. Bring times of refreshing in Your presence Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you are feeling like Hagar did, I pray this devotion blessed you to know that God sees you and He never leaves us where He “finds” us because He’s helping us all along. Thanks and God bless you ❤
~Cassandra♡
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Marriage Mints Ministry Group for Wives

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Extending invitation to wives to join my private group on Facebook called “Marriage Mints Cup of Comfort~Wives Café” .♡ Visit the group and Request to be added for friendship, prayer, and daily encouragement!  There’s a lot of fellowship in the group, which I absolutely love, especially since Facebook limits the reach of my posts on this page ♡  Hope to see more of you join in! ~Cassandra

Being a Meek Wife (*w/Prayer)

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I greatly admire women who are inherently meek by nature. They speak softly, have an air of perpetual peace about them wherever they go, no matter what is going on. It is rare to see them angry, and they generally seem unperturbed by what others say or do that might cause any other woman to feel irritable. In order to avoid making my admiration for meek women an idol in my heart, I have had to take an honest look at myself and seek God’s heart on this by praying and reading His Word.
Meekness is often mistaken for weakness. Many of us wives have been brought up without having examples of women in our lives who were meek. Many of us were brought up in single-parent homes where we watched our mothers struggle to make ends meet. I know was, and I witnessed my mother endure domestic violence for many many years from a boyfriend she had after she and my father separated. We lived in housing projects for those years, and it was during my teenage years that I’d made up my mind that I would never be a doormat for any man. I decided, then, that no man would ever rule over me, and in all of my witnessing of my mother being verbally cut down while she was soft-spoken to her abusive boyfriend, I cultivated loudness, brashness, and a goal to always have the last word. I developed an art to cutting others down with the words I spoke to them. I determined that I would always be in control.
As you can figure, I carried these attitudes and habits into my adult years, and when I became a wife, they surely did not bode well for my marriage! No man wants to have to struggle for leadership of his household. My husband and I–even in our dating years–wrestled with that. I didn’t know that I was doing anything wrong. I was doing what I’d taught myself those years ago. I was using survival instincts because I was afraid that if I submitted and was meek, my husband might abuse his authority to try and hurt me. I equated meekness with weakness that leads to pain. I PRAISE GOD for He delivers us from all of our troubles, and He surely saw that I needed deliverance from my troubled ways of thinking and conducting myself!!! He began to bring women into my life who are meek and yet are not abused by their husbands. That was new to me. I began to see that their meekness wasn’t weakness. Their strength is God’s strength! Their meekness is demonstrating strength under control of God without undue harshness.  Their peace and self control comes from the Lord.
I began to desire meekness for myself. I knew my husband was yearning for peace that he could not find in me because I was lacking meekness. I was lacking peace. I was pretty hard on myself privately but I learned that sometimes deliverance is a process. I’ve accepted that I am a wife whose quiet, gentle nature was not left unscathed by my past. I realize that I allowed what I witnessed in my past to harden me. I knew somewhere deep down inside there was still a beautiful spirit that God prizes as in 1 Peter 3:4 “but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”
I believe that God allows it to be a thorn in my side just as Paul describes in the Bible, so that I have to turn to Him and understand I am not in control.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 ” Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
I cannot be a meek woman in my own power! I had to be strong for so many years in my childhood, but I can let all that go now because God wants to be my strength!! I don’t need to be strong in those ways that I’d taught myself to be. There was a season and purpose for that strength but it doesn’t serve my husband or my walk with God!! And so I submit and lean on the Lord to help me be the wife with a beautiful spirit that He cherishes and my husband loves. I see that what served as strength in my past has no purpose in this season and is now a weakness. Therefore, I choose to let God be my strength. I am happy to say that I am too counted as one of the meek women. I rely on God to be my strength because when I am not meek, I am weak to the conditionings of my flesh. I need His help daily to stay in His peace so that I can be a source of peace for my husband and children.
Please feel free to pray this for yourself if you need help being a meek wife. ❤
♡ Prayer ♡
Lord, I commend to you myself, all of my attitudes, my habits, my thoughts,  my heart, all of me. Lord, if there is any way in me that hinders me from being a meek, submitted wife, please show me and deliver me from it. I want to be a source of peace for my husband not a battlefield he must exert himself against to be the head as you have purposed him to be. I thank You in advance for being my strength and where there seems to be no gentleness, You help me draw it out. Thank You Lord and may I exemplify meekness so my daughters and other wives may taste and sed that following Your will is good and not to hurt us. Your grace is sufficient! Thank You for blessing me with my husband and children. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Cassandra Salamone ♡
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