Tag Archives: Marriage

I Have Been Thinking of You, Too

Why is there pretense? This ever shielding wall that protects and keeps out the very thing you really want to let in.

Too deep? It's Sunday night. There is a cool breeze blowing through my open balcony as I type. Dang it, I'm just deep! lol

I am so guilty of this so I cannot point the finger but men are so much guiltier of it. Ego can be a stubborn roadblock. A man's ego, sheesh! Without it, I really do believe we would have world peace.

HeartNo one wants to be vulnerable, no one wants to get hurt. I get it, really I do. I earnestly believe that if two people first love God and are fundamentally good at heart, then no one should be out to willfully hurt the other. Right?

This hurt that no wants to receive is always present when pretense is allowed to mask true feelings. Withholding the truth from someone who you know cares about you is the hurt.

If you are not that into me, believe me, I would much rather know. If you really want my attention, pursue me like a man is supposed to. But if your intentions are not pure, the kindest thing that you can do is to keep it moving. 

I have written it before, behavior never lies. Your actions show that you have been thinking of me. Although a little strong, my words here show that I have been thinking of you, too.

With God, Are You All In?

This is the question in a new series we are tackling with the young adult ministry at church. It is really coming at a pivotal time in my life when I am considering the next stage – relationship, marriage and kids. No, I am not exclusively dating anyone but the thought has crossed my mind on a few occasions.

The major problem with single Christians dating is the issue of celibacy. Please believe me it is an issue. It is not a requirement for a lot of people who say they are Christian, in fact, it is not even expected.

In this series, we are using Chip Ingram's, "Living in the Edge: Dare to Experience True Spirituality." The book is accompanied by video lessons and includes questions, fill-in-the-blanks, and thoughts to ponder throughout the week. This week's thought – in Christ, are you all in? If not, what is holding you back?

I am sitting in service feeling extra transparent. lol Truth be told, I thought I was all in. When you are a single Christian woman and a man enters the picture, you are faced with this whole celibacy issue.It does not help, if the guy of interest, is not that dedicated to his celibacy. I know that I am an attractive girl but I also want to be clear about expectations.We – both he and I – are human.

This series is a bitter pill to swallow but correct and necessary. I already know this. The only issue that arises for me is the fear of being rejected and single for an extended period of time. Am I always afraid? No. Most times I am straight chillin'. The fear tends to creep up around the same time as my birthday. It does not help when family and friends start to question your singleness – meaning your choices and standards.

I get it all of the time. Your standards are too high. "At your age" *insert lowered expectations*. This
is equates to pressure. I am not looking for perfection because I am not perfect but can you try, really try, to be what you are claiming to be?

Another prayer this week in the series is, "Lord help me to see you as you really are."

Who is God? He is someone who loves you unconditionally and wants the very best for your life. If I truly believe that God loves me and wants what is best for me, then I have no need to fear. Fear makes you accept the 'good enough' instead of 'the best'. Celibacy while single is God's best. The hard truth is a man who does not respect that is not God's best.

 Another lesson learned.

 

Fear and Love: The Push and the Pull

In marketing (and logistics) there is a phenomenon known as the push and pull system. It describes the movement of product between two subjects. In push demand, suppliers can predict demand and supplies product accordingly. In pull demand, the consumers have a need and demand the products and services to fulfill that need.

Bored yet?

Well guys, I am talking about love – the demand or need for it. A poignant line in the movie, "The Color Purple," the character Shug Avery states, "Us sing and dance and holler just trying to be loved."

So true Shug, so true.

Sometimes the more you do to be loved, the more love alludes you. I have seen this push/pull effect in so many relationships.

The Push – I see that you are in need of love and I determine that I am going to be that for you, regardless, of your affections/behavior toward me.

The Pull – I want this but I am fearful that time or some other factor will keep me from it. In fear, I try to force the relationship to go where I want it to go.

What is driving these processes? What causes otherwise rational beings to behave so irrationally when it comes to relationships? It is fear. Fear is the saboteur of love. The Bible declares that:

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." I John 4:18

 

The Pull/Push system assumes love to be the product exchanged between
two people. Love is the process itself. It is the continuous exchange. I
heard it described by Pastor Tony Evans as passionately and righteously
pursuing the well-being of another. W.O.W.

Love is not the reward or goal. It is the pursuit.

 

 

Devon Franklin Unashamed To Admit His 10 Year Celibacy

Being a celibate Christian is not crazy, it is the sanest, most incredible gift that you can give to yourself.

I was preusing the internet as I am want to do and I came across a video discussing my favorite Christian couple – Meagan Good and Devon Franklin. Mr. Franklin reveals that he had been a celibate Christian for over ten years! (Join the club!) What followed were a bunch of negative comments about this man for actually, unashamedly, proclaiming that God was able to keep him until marriage.

 

His experience is not unique. The world has become so twisted that promiscuity is promoted while celibacy is abased. I think the stigma is harder for men. You always run the risk of being labeled soft. Women can often times feel pressure to be that seductive vamp that men drool over in music videos. The Proverbs 31 virtuous woman is viewed as a relic of old time values. Even some Christians believe that you cannot date and be celibate.

I can tell you from experience that this is a lie from the very pit of hell. I cannot begin to tell you how being celibate, even through the most trying temptations, has kept me from so many pitfalls the enemy had set for me. My mother told me recently, if you mean to do right, God will always reveal the truth, protect and watch over you.

Perhaps you have never heard that you are valuable. That your existence was planned before the foundation of the world. No one may have ever told you that you are beautiful and that you are worth the wait.

Well, I just did.

I am not speaking of myself. I am speaking from truths I have learned over years in my Christian walk. The chief being – God loves me.

Yes, folk. The creator of the universe loves me. He loves the imperfect, sometimes contradictory, me. He loves you, too. If you meditate on this truth, I mean really know it experientially, you will never give yourself away in a an ungodly way. You are just too precious.

Do you believe it? Well, here's the proof:

"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:6-8

Wow!

Why Would Anyone Want To Marry You?

The idea of marriage and finding the man of destiny that God has chosen for us, is a revisited conversation topic for me and my single friends. In fact, yesterday, I had quite an interesting conversation, in which a friend said that marriage is not your ministry when I have heard the message preach that marriage is exactly that – a ministry. Given the current environment of conflicting ideas and expectations, I was unexpectedly challenged in my idea of what a marriage mate is by an article someone posted on Facebook from Relevant Magazine, "You Never Marry the Right Person."

Yes, sometimes Facebook actually yields something thought provoking.

The gist of the article is that we expect too much from another person. We want someone to be perfect and fulfill our emotional/sensual needs while never expecting much from us in return. That person should just be perfect while accepting our crusty flawed selves. Yes, I mean crusty.

Another idea posed in the article is that it is impossible to find the perfect mate because marriage fundamentally changes who were are. When you enter into a marriage, you are learning to love a new person and therin lies the rub. 

I was talking to a guy and he was detailing what he expects/likes in a woman. What he wants is not unrealistic but did have a tinge of I want you to be more wholesome than I have to be. Having just watched an old Eddie Murphy stand up, I shied away from the knee-jerk reaction to snap my fingers and roll my neck all the while yelling, "and what about you?!" lol

The author of the article actually articulates in an analogous to the Bible sort of way how we need to love like Christ loves us. We are epically flawed yet eternally loved in Christ, right? Why cannot we love another flawed individual without the expectation of perfection on their part and not ours?

Interesting idea, no?

 

 

In Dating – I Want A Little Magic

A chance encounter. A fateful event. Something to indicate that we (whoever that other part of we is) are destined to be. Is that crazy?

Don't answer that.

A friend of mine jokes that I am like the character Sara Thomas in the movie Serendipity. She is all like, Felicia, the stars have to align and the heavens open as sign that he (whoever that he is) is the one. Ok, really? I get her point. I am not so delusional as to think the stars will literally align and the sun shine down on the forehead of my intended but I do have to admit, I want a little magic.

I used to be really bad at the Lord-is-this-a-sign-itis. I would literally, mid-conversation- stare intently at a guy and ask – Lord is he the one. I am sure all of those guys thought I was crazy. lol Maybe I am a little bit. I mean, I was a smart kid. I paid attention in school. Completed my MBA – yada, yada, and the yada. So, I am capable of learning. Yet, no one has ever taught me how to date. I truly suck at it. I always, always, always get my signals crossed. If I project friendship, I get love letters. If I project interest, I get the "you're the bomb.com" line from Just Wright.

Serendipity

I blame my mother! lol Isn't easy just to blame our parent(s). I distinctly remember a guy that would come by and visit me when I was like fifteen or something. It was so very benign. We would sit on my front porch and chat. Well, one day my mom was out there and this guy gets the courage to ask my mom if he could take me to the movies. To which, my mom replies, "I don't think she is ready for that." Point. Blank. Period.

I was MORTIFIED. So much so that I told him he should probably stop coming around. Overreacted much? You betcha. I have always been a bit emotional but the guy I did end up with, never asked her squat. He just would sneak around when she was at work.

Parents, smh.

Fast forward today and I am still mentally on that porch waiting. Wow, that was like the saddest line I have ever written, lol. I have to get off of the stupid porch, for heavens sake! But, how? Be more practical, I guess.

I am not saying that I am growing cynical;  maybe a little more, dare I say it, practical. Even as I type this, I still hope – just a bit – for a little magic.

HIV: Pregnancy Is Not the Worst Thing That Can Happen to You

I was watching this PBS documentary about HIV rates among African Americans and was taken aback by the reasoning of women and young men regarding sexual activity. A lot of African Americans:

a. Don't talk about sex and HIV transmission and

b. Have an antiquated view of sex/HIV.

Seriously, pregnancy is not the worst thing that can happen to you.

I am going to shift this discussion in a slightly different direction. I believe that that there is a direct correlation between the breakdown of married two-parent households and the alarming HIV rates among heterosexual women. Hear me out.

According to USA today, 80% of babies born to black women (first time) are born out of wedlock.  Babies are born when two people (not married) have unprotected sex. HIV is transmitted primarily through unprotected sex. Is anyone, besides me, seeing a correlation?

In this PBS documentary, this young, beautiful educated black woman was saying that she had met her 'prince charming' and fell head over heels. This older guy one day stated that he did not have a condom. She rationalized that she was in love and the worst thing that could happen was that she would get pregnant. She then stated that was okay because she wanted to have his baby. No marriage, no courtship, no pre-marital blood test, just 'have his baby'. He gave her HIV.

I used to work in social services. So many young girls and their young friends would have baby after baby with guys who cannot take care of them or the children and who will not marry them. Yet, they are offering their very bodies to these guys for a bit of companionship.

How can we teach our young women and ourselves that we are worth the wait?

When I feel weak in my flesh, God will send me a reminder that celibacy is his perfect way. If you find your 'prince charming' he should be gentleman enough to wait for you and man enough to get tested with you.

I'm just saying.

 

Learning to Love Your Spouse

As part of our seemingly endless conversations about relationships, a friend mentioned the idea of marrying someone with whom you are not in love. As evidence, this friend mentioned a woman who says that she married a man because everyone else told her that he was such a "good" man. It was when their child turned two years of age that she looked up one day and realized that she loved him. Now she is head-over-heels, over-the-moon in love.

Is this even possible? Think about it. You date, court, become engaged, plan a wedding, marry and have a child all the while waiting for love to blossom. The uber romantic in me says, posh! The faithful side of me thinks that this is possible. Maybe the man/woman that God has as your destiny mate is not the cat's meow in your eyes right now.Maybe the way someone loves you can transform them from frog to prince.

Bride

There is another side of me, the cynic. The cynic thinks what if after two years and a child, you look at your wonderfully devoted husband and get the sudden urge to run out of the front door and never come back.

Extreme?

I need more evidence. Can any of you attest to this love comes after phenomenon? Please leave a comment or two.

 

Thanks.

Christian Celibacy – If Meagan Good Can Do It, So Can You

So Meagan Good is getting married and she has not slept with her fiancee. They plan on being together for the first time on their wedding night.

 

From what I can ascertain they have actually been dating for about a year although they have known each other a bit longer. Celibacy will make a man jump the broom fast or keep stepping quick. SN: She met her fiance while filming the movie Jumping the Broom.

Meagan_Good

Celibacy in your relationship is an act of faith. You are believing God that you are going to be married and intimacy is sacred. Put God first, fast and pray. Your first love should be God and then the love you have with your future spouse will be blessed beyond measure.

 

I know a lot of Christians falter in this area but keep trying.

Celibacy rocks!

But He Has Potential!

But He Had Potential.

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/GpSuYZ2j5Ww   
 
When it comes to attraction to a man, what a woman  likes at 18 is different than what she likes at 30. If I could impart any aged wisdom to young women looking for a mate – look with your more mature lens. Project your future.

Maybe he is not the typical captain of the football team but captain of the chess club. Maybe his hair does lay down with baby oil but rises like steel wool but he has potential. He may be nerdy now but does he have "potential"?
 
When you are younger, you go for that spark but as you mature you choose what is smart. Like Lauryn Hill said,
 
           

           "What you want might make you cry
            What you need might pass you by
            If you don't catch it,
            If you don't catch it,
            And what you need ironically
            Will turn out what you want to be
            If you just let it,
            If you just let it"

 

I love that youtube clip. I know Sherri is kicking herself about shading Hill Harper. Talk about potential.