Back to our Wednesday habit! Answering questions gathered from my mail again. (If this is your first time, read this post to know what Wednesday Wonders is all about.) And since I’ve been getting a lot of the mommy stuff, I decided to postpone answering those first and give way to questions regarding beauty tips and relationships. Rest assured, the parenting questions will come in by next week!
Q: What is your secret to youthful, glowing and beautiful skin? Can you share the staple products that work for you ?(Most especially your skincare like cleanser, toner, and moisturizer.)
A: First of all, I wanna say thank you for the compliment. I actually have a lot of people telling me that I am so lucky I have nice skin. And you know what? I agree. I think skin is basically something that we genetically inherit, and I believe that my fair, milky complexion comes from my Mom. If there’s anyone on earth I envy about when it comes to clear and smooth and pretty armpits, that would be her! Hahaha! Seriously, she gets only about 3-4 stubs of underarm hair, U-N-F-A-I-R!!!
With my super lucky pamana from my Mama, I have to say then it doesn’t take much for me to have a whole skincare ritual etcetera. I don’t put moisturizer, for sure. All I like to do is wash my face clean in the morning and at night. And what soap to use? Haha, any soap I find in our stock.
However, about once a year I go to my derma for peeling. I think that one’s necessary to take out dead and dirty skin. She then gives me a soap to use with sunblock and moisturizer made specifically for the peeling face. I stick to that set for about a month or two.
Personally, I also think that diet and rest and water intake affects our skin. A healthy lifestyle, less oil and less bad meat, lots of water, and adequate rest, always make it to the best recipe for that all natural glow. (Add narin happiness, hehe. I always seem to have better skin when I am joyful!)
Q: Would like to know your thoughts / stand on first cousin dating/marriage. And also would like to know the stand of Victory Church on the said subject. Are they allowing it?
A: You know I never thought about this before since I never wanted to marry any of my cousins anyway, haha!
Let me just get Victory out of the way first, since I really am not sure about what their stand is on the subject. Actually, our church really isn’t one that promotes a mindset of “one stand for all,” but encourages us to seek the Lord through His Word (accurately so and not just random interpretation), and hopefully from there, we may clearly hear His will.
Now personally, my first thought when I read your question was, “What does the Bible have to say about this?” As I have already mentioned before, all that I do is screened and tested by the finality of God’s Word. Problem was I cannot remember anything from it that allows or prohibits first cousin relationships. When people in the Old Testament married their close relatives, it wasn’t as if the Word is commending the act but more like telling history.
My next thought was about governance. I researched a bit on it and apparently, there are places where first cousin marriage is legal, and some places that are not. If we read Romans 13:1-7, God is telling us to be subject to governing authorities. That automatically means that we have to abide by the law of our current governing authority and so I guess marrying a first cousin will have to depend on where you live and what the law says about it.
Law is one thing, and society another. Many societies deem the act as incestuous, and so taboo. Then there is the scare of genetic disorders which are said to be more likely to happen when we marry from our own family. Again, I searched up a bit about these things and turns out that some say the rate isn’t really that much compared to completely unrelated people marrying each other and still ending up with an abnormal kid.
After all that I’ve read, here is what I would do if this were my own dilemma. I’d consult my mentors in faith about it and seek more of God’s revelation from His Word- first and most important! If right away we see the Lord prohibits, no questions asked, I shall drop the relationship; if okay in the Bible, next is to know if this is legal or illegal in the Philippines; incase the Philippine law is also okay with it, I would go for genetic counseling (some countries require this before cousins marry) to see what may happen to our children and if I’d have the grace to face that reality; and lastly, really think about the consequences shall I decide to push through with such an unpopular decision. As much as I’d like to think that marriage and such things are personal, the public life is still very much a part of us and us a part of it. We cannot exist apart from societies, and so I better be ready for the pressure I take upon myself when I make decisions that stray from socially accepted practices.
Q: Rephrasing next question since sender wrote it while telling her story, and turns out to be too long, and maybe even too private, to publish on my blog. Basically, all she wants to know is if it’s okay to have a strong desire for marriage with her boyfriend for the following reasons: 1) the struggle to remain pure in their relationship (or to refrain from having premarital sex), 2) the pressure from aunts, uncles, and cousins to marry since “time is running out” and she’d have a difficult time conceiving when she’s older, 3) to desire it so much because she sometimes fear that he will leave her. (Sender even remarked that she feels crazy to have these thoughts but that she just doesn’t know what to do. Other notable things about her that are crucial to my answers will be that she’s a Christian, 25 years old, and has been with her boyfriend for already 4 years.)
A: First things first, to remain pure in a relationship gets harder and harder as time goes by. I believe that when God created the concept of union between man and woman, he patterned it after Himself as a relationship in the Trinity; in flesh and in spirit, you must be inseparable in all ways possible. This is why it doesn’t matter which comes first, physical or emotional intimacy, but long after you’ve engaged in any of them, surely the other will follow. This is why the Bible says to not awaken or arouse love until it so desires (Song of songs 8:4). I will have more on this when I get to your last inquiry.
Now desiring marriage our of pressure from family I think is very wrong. First of all, I am totally against the idea of pushing people to marry. Parang gusto ko laging sabihin sa kanila, “Bakit, ikaw ba ang magpapakasal at matatali habang-buhay?” The consequences of marriage will last a lifetime, and so I always say “better late than sorry.” Your relatives won’t have to put up with it, in case you made a wrong decision naman diba? It will be your burden for the rest of your life- yours and yours alone.
Please do not believe them also when they scare you about a woman’s body clock. I was already 29 when I got married and you are just 25. I was already 32 when I got pregnant, and now 33 with our 3 month old firstborn. The Bible says that Sarah, wife of Abraham, was already in that age where their bodies are as good as dead, yet she still conceived and bore her son Isaac. God opens and closes wombs. He wills these things and by faith we believe that what He had prepared for us is good, pleasing, and perfect!
Now for your last question, here’s a story.
When I was just dating Joseph, I prayed and asked the Lord to help me to let go shall we hit our first year and he hasn’t proposed yet. I did this because coming from a past such as mine, where my relationships lasted for so long (1st boyfriend was for a year, 2nd was for 2 years, and 3rd was for 4 years) and ended so painfully precisely because they lasted way too long without us ending up together, I figured it wouldn’t be wise to do it again.
There above I mentioned it doesn’t matter which comes first, physical or emotional intimacy but that one will surely follow the other. The longer we stay in a relationship, the more intimate we get. And this carves our hearts deeper and deeper to the point of desiring marital union- rightfully so, if you ask me. However, since there is no certainty unless you really do get engaged and finally find the time and means and guts to marry each other, this desire might result to paranoia at times; we fear because we cannot be sure.
To act in fear is not right, but what to do when you cannot force certainty out of time, right? Exactly why I prayed to the Lord and asked for grace after a certain length of time where I can say it hasn’t been too short to give it a try, but neither too long to quickly get over the bond. That length of time for me was a year. I knew that anything above it won’t be wise for me anymore. I just knew that past one year I would already be wanting more than what Joe might be willing to give, and it was clear to me that if he proposed, I’d like it to be because he heard from God and not from me.
Now do I advise you to do the same and give yourself a deadline? Certainly not.
Rather, I encourage you to pray and ask God for the faith He is giving you about your relationship. Your story and my story are different, and God might be giving different instructions to us. But it is extremely important to seek His wisdom and will when you are struggling. All I can say that is specific to your situation though is that it is completely normal to desire marriage at that point, and to even want sexual intimacy. But to marry and to have sex must be done in the right context, and that is what you have to pray for. Dalawa lang naman yan: either God would give you contentment and the grace to wait for your boyfriend (and refrain from doing what isn’t right), or the grace to let go if you cannot wait any longer. The important thing is that whatever you do or decide on, the goal must be to honor God.