Rev. LaWaughn Rouse, or Radical RevLa, turned my interest dial way up after I responded to a post on SHEWrites (a ning community of primarily she-writers) and she responded right back. Let me tell you, initially I was shaking some kind of funny when her email showed up in my email inbox. You see, after responding to this one particular post, I was already shaking to begin with. This happens occasionally. Believe it or not, many times I actually try keeping some comments under my hat. In this case I let one go, which twenty minutes after letting it go I thought maybe I shouldn’t have. Too late to backtrack I moved on to phase two… hoping she-ningers would skip over reading my quip and pose a quip of their own.
Didn’t happen. Opened my inbox to find a message from Rev. Rouse responding to the post. Immediately I thought, ‘this might not be good’. The least I could hope was that the reverend simply left a prayer for me.
I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and said a quick prayer of my own before opening the email. Oh, how enamored I was! Radical RevLa was showin’ RYCJ some Love. She thanked me for the comment and went on to explain why my comment was necessary. It was a beautiful feeling. I’ve been following RevLa’s posts ever since.
Honesty and candor, coupled by decorum, is a virtue not always easy to find. I pine for it all the time… a quality I find in RevLa’s many writings. So I had to…and get ready for this drum-roll… reach out to the registered nurse and mother of four adult children and grandmother of two who is an ordained Baptist minister sharing a marriage and relationship ministry with her husband and ask if she wouldn’t mind answering a few questions on one of my favorite topics… relationships!
Married over thirty years, mentoring and coaching and providing workshops for Christian couples, I am truly honored she not only agreed to this Q&A, but unduly undulated by her candid responses to my questions.RYCJ; RevLa, when did you first know you wanted to minister to souls? And what was the first step you took to make this happen?
RevLa; Well, really I never wanted to minister to souls as much as I liked taking care of people. At five years old all of the kids brought me their sick pets and I would stay up and take care of them. I would heal them back to life and those that died I would bury them and then have a tea party for the pet owner. I called those tea parties "tea house on August Moon." Don't ask me why but kids looked forward to those tea parties, which was koolaid and cookies, and they would bring me the sick Easter chickens and rabbits.
So at an early age I knew I would be a nurse. As I grew, even adults would call me to take care of them, and my grandmother stated I had healing hands. Now the other strange thing was as a child God spoke to me and I would just know what would happen.
But to answer the actual question, I was sitting in church one Sunday and I looked at the preacher and I felt the presence of Christ. I heard Him speak to me just like anyone talking and I looked around to see if anybody else heard this. He said, "look at the preacher," and as I looked, I saw myself. With long locks down pass my bottom and dressed in white talking not to the people sitting in church, but to a field of people.
He then said, “do you love me,” and I said, “yes Lord,” and He said, "then feed my sheep," and I said, "yes Lord," and He was gone. I knew that I had been called and I knew that I had said yes.
My grandmother (who turned 100 years old on 9/15/11) is a Godly woman and she raised us to have relationship and not religion. She always said don't play with the Lord. If you say yes, then mean it. Don't just talk the talk, but walk the walk. And that does not mean to walk in a way that's not real.
I went to my pastor and informed him that I had been called to preach. He did not want to mentor me because I don't look, or act like a preacher. I'm just a regular person trying to live life and love all in the same way that Christ loved us, but at the same time He enjoyed it also.
I went to Bible College and learned what I had to learn. I obtained my degree in Pastoral Care and Christian Counseling with my emphasis on marriage, women, and children. Then I became ordained and worked in the church as assistant pastor until they stoned me for being real. I went out and did outreach ministry until He brought me back to the church. And guess what? The men made me get ordained again. So I now laugh and say I'm an ordained, ordained minister.
RYCJ; I read on your blog, you recounting how music used to be written about falling in love, and being in love, which inspired harmony in relationships and in the home. What do you think it was that inspired musicians to write the music they used to sing and write?
RevLa: I would have to say God. Music and singing is the soul of God. It is said that to know the Lord all we have to do is look around nature and ourselves and you can see Him. He has recreated Himself from the spirit world or the invisible to the visible world in which we can see and touch and taste. So if you really want to know the true soul of God then listen to music or the words to a song. Not the ones that the enemy of God and man kind have thrown out there to trip us up, but to those old songs. It doesn't matter what type of music or singing you like when its real and God inspired then you know it because it takes you to another level in fact to the throne room of God.
Many people question if the Bible was just a book written by man. That is a good question and often when I was a young adult and searching for myself, I questioned it until I knew better. Any who...I didn't believe that it could be all God until He did it to me. I set out to write this teenage book showing the young how to love and live in this world in a manner that would not destroy them (and in answer to your question, no I did not put it out, and yes I will since I'm being called across the carpet by the Holy One)
...I had in mind what I was going to write and how it would be written, however each time I sat down to do it my way, by the time it was done and I read it, the book was nothing like I thought it would be. In fact it was so good that it scared me because I could not believe that there was such great wisdom.
So all that to say when a musician sits down and suddenly he/she hears the music in his/her spirit, and can hear all of the instruments and how they should come in and blend, or the songwriter can sit down and see and hear the words to a love song that takes his/her breath away, that's nothing but the Soul of God radiating out via that musician and or songwriter. God used those sensitive people to reveal his very soul to us and it would transport us back to heaven to fellowship with him as we fellowship with each other as a loving couple.
RYCJ; And speaking of music, what is your favorite music, and song(s)?
RevLa: Well being a baby boomer growing up with young parents I love all music. Jazz, oldies but goodies...like the Motown era. I like the classical because my grandmother used to take us to operas.
My uncle loved country/western. They have some great music and words. I like the early rock like the rolling stones and Bruce Springsteen, and the e-street band. I love rhythm and blues such BB King. I like Chuck Brown, the go-go type music. And I like rap that does not put down women or is gangster. My favorite is Nellie. I love Alisha Keys and I like Barbara Streisand and Celine De ion. I like Andrea Bocelli, an Italian great, and I like some of the Latin songs. Who could not love Reggae and Bob Marley? … And people like Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and even old Elvis Presley and Johnny Mathis.
I love old school gospel, and the new school gospel, and I love gospel rap. I guess you see I just love music and songs, no matter, for the most part what or who it is as long as I can feel God's inspired soul in it.
Not only that I love to dance. I grew up dancing and that is one of things that I wanted to do. Go to New York and become a dancer. Too old for that now but see how God is, He promised me that I would dance and I do dance and choreograph the spiritual dance troop at my church. Many say that when I dance they can feel God. That to me again is a form of God's Character coming out. I look at the dance as God's emotions in movement. Ever watch someone dance that was really into it you feel it and it moves you and again reaches your inner being? So whatever makes me dance is great music to me.
RYCJ; Do you see a shift of values in the church today? Amongst the ministry that is, ministering to/about relationships...compared to what you remember growing up?
RevLa: Actually, I really feel it’s going in the opposite direction. Love and marriage and raising a family was very important as we grew up in the church. No they did not speak of sex or relationships, other than marriage, and then that was surface. There are only a few bold ministers that have been called and not afraid to stand and talk about love and loving. They are not afraid to let the world know that marriage and relationships was created by God in the garden because God looked at man and saw that the only thing that was not good in creation at that point was that man was alone.
He created woman and then created sex. Now many would say where do you see that, but if you study the word it stated that he told them to multiple...and how do we do that? You got it SEX...I rest my case.
At any rate the church only wants to put forth this marriage issue because of same sex marriage. So now they are trying a little, but still not making it clear or real. It’s not enough to say that God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. That's not what people need. They need to know how to function, and a lifetime relationship with another person in the way that God created. (Now, just for the record, not that you asked, but I don't believe in same sex marriage. Only because it’s against the word as I know it. But, and this is a big butt, I cannot marry a person to the same sex because I am held responsible for every person I marry. That's why they must have pre-marital counseling, even if they take my on-line course. I can, however, give same sex joining or union my blessing.)
God saw that man should not be alone. He made us a social creatures. We crave companionship and when we don't get it we will find someone or something to fill that void. My baby brother is gay and I love him and very much. I’m proud of the way he lives his life. He loves the Lord with all of his heart and I know that God loves him. Why he's gay, I do not know. Is he committing a sin yes, but no more than I when I tell a lie, and with God there are no big or little sins. A sin is a sin.
Do I want my brother and any other gay person happy and in a committed relationship? Yes I do. Would I consider it a marriage? No I would not. But they should have something by law so that they may share their lives together and their worldly possessions. Sorry it’s off the subject, but I just have to get that off of my chest in case someone asked. Ha, ha, ha.
Back to the question, the church is weak and worldly for the most part, and just not nice. Many people who need them are feeling welcomed or look at what the church is doing rather than what they are saying, and they are not lining up. That's why people like myself have been called to the marketplace to set an example and teach relationship to Christ first, and then to each other.
RYCJ; I really applaud you (and hubby) on the attention you give to married couples, and those looking forward to committed relationships. I recall a time (back in the days when marriages held together) when great sacrifices for the sake of the family were made. Sparing the harsh details, but many of those sacrifices people today can more easily walk away from, ALBEIT, now at the cost of sacrificing the family. So here's my question... How would you suggest handling a situation where one spouse falls out of love despite there being no valid reason other than, "I just don't love, or have any feelings for him or her anymore," ...without sacrificing the family?
RevLa: Wow...let me think or rather let me seek...
First, love is not a feeling. You must first love and then the feelings follow. We actually do the opposite. We stop loving because we don't feel. We place our emphasis on the feeling rather than the product. Another way of putting it, we place our focus on the adjective instead of the noun. It’s the noun that's important, that will generate the adjective.
Marriage and relationship takes a lifetime commitment and work. Everyday you must plan to place time and attention to your other half, and he/she must do the same. Now what most couples don't realize is that God is the one who chooses your mate. He will bring the lady to the man, and before bringing that lady to her mate, He will form her into what she needs to be, just like He did Eve. He looked into Adam and saw what he longed for. He saw Adam's heart's desires, things that even Adam was not aware of, then He created Eve to accommodate Adam in all that he needed and wanted. He formed Eve with parts of Adam so that when He brought her to him she knew with out a shadow of doubt that he was her life mate.
So how does that transcend to us today? Still, in the same way.
A woman should never go out looking for a mate, nor should she force a match unless she knows that God placed her their for that moment in time to be united with her Adam.
Well how will she know this?
During the time that she is single she must seek relationship with Christ. She must find out what her purpose in life is. She must understand what her ministry is in order to build God's Kingdom. That could be church work or creating the next love hip-hop or writing the novel of a lifetime. She must take that time to find out who she is and love herself for being herself. She must be whole in every part of her being before she unites with her mate. God will create her into who she needs to be for herself and for her mate. When He has her ready, then He will then bring her to her mate.
Likewise a man must go about doing the will of God and becoming a man. He cannot chase after every women just to have her body and make babies that he really is not committed to. He must learn who he is. Become the person of God and obtain a means to provide and protect because really that's his main role. He must sit at the feet of Christ and learn how to lead. Then when God knows that he is ready He will bring him his Eve. Once they come together by God, then God must be first in their relationship, and they must come into it fully committed to be there for life. Divorce is not an option. They must learn, study, grow, communicate, share, love and romance each other until all they can do is sit in a chair at age 100+ and smile at each other as their form of intimacy. They must know that while being good parents is part of their job, it’s not the marriage. The couple is, and they cannot stay together for the children.
If at any time they are in a marriage that is not of God, then yes, they must separate, but still do their job as parents in a peaceful, nurturing, teaching, loving and healthy way. Always remember love is by choice. You choose to love no matter what (except when there is physical, mental, sexual abuse or fornication outside of the marriage). As you love God first, yourself, and your mate, then the feelings will come and stay. But it’s by your choice and your love for God. You never sacrifice the family. You must be parents for life. But you live your life with your mate. The married couple is first and when the children see that, then they grow up with love for one another and determination to allow the goodness that is marriage to prevail.
RYCJ; Please share the marital services you provide and how couples can reach you.
RevLa: We have many services and are working on more. We have placed the entire ministry on-line so that now anyone in the world can find what they need to have a Godly marriage and relationship. We have our main 2R1N CHRIST Marriage and Relationship Ministry that has teachings and tips for date night and love. For those who find themselves during a difficult season of marriage we have our mentoring group Marriage Buddies. And for those who just want a quick blog about love, then we have our Love Journal.
We also have an ezine we call our "Loveazine" sent via email each month offering a month's worth of love tips and dating pleasures. We're on Twitter and working on offering great date night places to go soon. We will have that website up, as well as we are working on the blog radio and podcast workshops. We have ebooks in the making and gift shops. We have a yearly program called "DATE NIGHT WITH CHRIST,” and are working too on a Masquerade couples dance along with couples retreats. My husband and I go out and speak to other marriage ministries, couples retreat, and any place that want to hear us. We officiate services in the DC, MD, and VA area. We offer on-line premarital services, answering any question that you would want to ask from a male (my husband) and female point so that you have two ways of looking at your problem.
We can be reached at the following email addresses:
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
We can be reached at the following email addresses:
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Well that's it for now and thank you so much.
Absolutely Beautiful! Thank you RevLa!