Wednesday, September 30, 2009

UTTER NONSENSE: Redefining Marriage in California

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Check out this UTTER NONSENSE. We need to be on the lookout because if this passes in California, it may be headed to our states next.

More than 40 Calif.-based groups are backing a new effort to strike out language in the state constitution that defines marriage between a man and a woman.
The groups – led by Los Angeles-based Love Honor Cherish – filed a new ballot proposal with the State of California Thursday as a first step toward getting a measure that redefines marriage on the November 2010 ballot.

To increase the chances of success, the groups are also proposing language that would bar courts from requiring religious ministers to perform any marriage in violation of their beliefs.

“The refusal to perform a marriage under this provision shall not be the basis for lawsuit or liability, and shall not affect the tax-exempt status of any religious denomination, church or other religious institution,” the proposed language states.
While leaders of the new drive believe they can change the hearts and minds of enough Californians in the next 14 months, the state’s largest gay rights group, Equality California, along with several other established groups, say more work needs to be done before bringing the battle back to the ballot.

Furthermore, with Californians gearing up to elect a new governor next year, the chances of success may be even slimmer as conservatives are expected to turn out in larger numbers.

Despite the challenges, leaders of the new initiative insist that they’ll be ready.
“Prop 8 passed with only 52 percent of the vote,” said John Henning, executive director of Love Honor Cherish, referring the California amendment the defined marriage between a man and a woman. “In the next 14 months, with hard work and inspiration, we can change the small percentage of hearts and minds that we need to win.”

Traditional marriage advocates, meanwhile, say their supporters will be ready to again defend marriage successfully whether it's in 2010 or 2012., a broad-based coalition of California families, community leaders, religious leaders, pro-family organizations and individuals, is working aggressively to "educate the public and to help the public continue to understand the very vital role that marriage plays in our civil society," according to its executive director, Ron Prentice.

"While the other side issues many press releases about their activity, we are quietly but effectively building on our majority in California," he stated recently.
Groups supporting the latest pro-gay marriage effort include Stonewall Democrats/Los Angeles, the Latino Equality Alliance, the Mexican American Bar Association, and the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fireproof Date Night - Never Leave Your Partner Behind

Hey Covenant Groupies,

As we watched “Fireproof” this past Friday with our church, the movie continues to remind me of so many things that require so much of us as humans, such as: keeping the parasites out of our marriages, making sure there’s no gossip about your spouse to your family, co-workers and friends, live with a heart of selfless sacrifice, recognize and keep abreast of the many differences between men and women, our Covenant marriage vows, unconditional love and respect amongst many other things.

This film covered every area that the enemy would seek to destroy and cause self justified division. The slogan “Never Leave Your Partner Behind,” makes all the sense in the world each time I’ve watched the movie. Far too often, we find couples that have purposefully left their partners behind whether it’s emotionally, spiritually, psychologically; they have just checked out.

How do we get them back? I believe, that’s where unconditional love and respect come in – this is the ability to seek God’s love and respect and wash our spouses in it – regardless of their response. That’s the largest Christian message in this film and should be how we determine to live our lives daily. It’s difficult and will most certainly challenge us, but God has created and chosen us to live out this type of honor, not only towards Him, but more importantly, here on earth, to our spouses.

Also, take a look at our Pastor's most recent sermon and share your thoughts.

LIFE LESSON 14: BE CHRIST TO YOUR UNSAVED HUSBAND from David Randolph Holder on Vimeo.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Marriage Doesn't Take a Day Off - But I do

Hey Covenant Groupies,

I took a break from blogging today in order to spend time with my honey - just because. It was a holiday, so I hope you did as well.

Will be back tomorrow with a goodie!!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lesson in Respect: A Walk in My Husbands Shoes - LITERALLY

Hey Covenant Groupies,

A year ago today the movie “Fireproof” was release and became the #1 selling Christian film of 2008. Last night our marriage ministry at NYCC had an amazing night hosting a “Fireproof” Movie Date Night with about 20 couples. The discussion afterwards was terrific as well. When we wrapped up Kevin took the men aside to offer them a challenge in loving their wives and I, in turn, pulled the women aside and offered them a challenge to respect their husbands more. The challenge was well received. Little did I know that I would have the opportunity to act upon my challenge immediately.

As we dispersed for the evening Kevin and I were running to catch the train and I quickly realized how chilly it was outside and my feet were cold in my open-toed shoes. However, I said nothing. By the time we go to our next stop, I mentioned to Kevin that I was cold because my feet were cold. His first response was, “I don’t want you to be cold, so why don’t you put my shoes on.” He carried an extra pair to work that morning. Now, from time to time, we’d laugh about how, although a little big, I could fit his shoes. These were his soft bottom suede loafers that I’ve always loved on him, that are a bit worn, but I never wanted to wear his shoes, LITERALLY, I was just cold.

So, without further reservation, I put them on. Here I was thinking I just wanted warm feet, but instead I got a unique opportunity to walk in my husbands shoes. Almost every step I took I looked down and saw the hours Kevin stands on his feet, the miles he takes to ride on public transportation, the dedication he puts in daily to provide for our family. What does he think about when he wears these shoes was one of my thoughts. I wanted him to know what my thoughts were as I wore HIS shoes, but instead, I glowed. I was able to RESPECT and empathize with what he goes though each day dealing with people and their attitudes as his feet hurt from the constant movement of wanting to be the best man he aspires to be.

There’s love, history, commitment, dedication, desire, passion, truth and tirelessness in those shoes, and I got a chance to wear them. What an honor! I felt proud wearing my husbands shoes; his symbol of provision, protection and choice.

Although I was able to walk in his shoes for a very short time, I’ve not been called to carry out his responsibilities, however, I also understand that there are things I can do to make his life a heck of a lot easier.

I commit to:
• Rub his feet more
• Continue to thank him for working
• Go out and buy him a nice warm comfortable pair of slippers (although he
will fight me on this)
• Empathize when he says he’s tired from walking
• Remember that evening as God’s way of giving me a peek into the daily
journey of my husband

Friday, September 25, 2009

Get Over the Obama Marriage Fantasy

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Check out this great article.

If you are one of the legions of people sick to death of all the commentary about the state of black male/female relationships told through the Obama Example feel free to bypass this essay. If you’re among those sick to death of seeing single, professional black women blamed for the sorry state of those relationships then read on.

Let’s start with President Barack Obama, the admirably great husband and dad in chief. If he is going to be the standard around which the debate around black relationship revolves, then here is one pertinent question not being asked enough: Why did Barack choose Michelle, and not, say, a Halle Berry or BeyoncĂ©?

After all, Michelle doesn’t fit that stereotypical ideal. Many black men would find her dual Ivy League degrees threatening. Her self-confidence and assertiveness? Emasculating. The fact that she put Barack through many paces and required him to earn her love and respect? Bossy and demanding. Not so for Barack. Few could argue that he made a smart decision. Yet, we’re supposed to believe that Michelle, the prototypical highly accomplished black woman, has a rare level of wisdom that eludes other black women when it comes to choosing a mate?

Let’s be real. The reason that many black women with backgrounds similar to Michelle Obama’s aren’t married is not because they would not give similarly skinny, big-eared, smart guys a chance: It’s because there aren’t enough of those guys to go around. Smart women are smart enough to snatch them up. That’s why there aren’t millions of Barack Obama clones walking around wondering why no black woman will have them.

Knowing why Michelle chose Barack won't help you find a mate.

If you are one of the legions of people sick to death of all the commentary about the state of black male/female relationships told through the Obama Example feel free to bypass this essay. If you’re among those sick to death of seeing single, professional black women blamed for the sorry state of those relationships then read on.

Let’s start with President Barack Obama, the admirably great husband and dad in chief. If he is going to be the standard around which the debate around black relationship revolves, then here is one pertinent question not being asked enough: Why did Barack choose Michelle, and not, say, a Halle Berry or BeyoncĂ©?

After all, Michelle doesn’t fit that stereotypical ideal. Many black men would find her dual Ivy League degrees threatening. Her self-confidence and assertiveness? Emasculating. The fact that she put Barack through many paces and required him to earn her love and respect? Bossy and demanding. Not so for Barack. Few could argue that he made a smart decision. Yet, we’re supposed to believe that Michelle, the prototypical highly accomplished black woman, has a rare level of wisdom that eludes other black women when it comes to choosing a mate?

Let’s be real. The reason that many black women with backgrounds similar to Michelle Obama’s aren’t married is not because they would not give similarly skinny, big-eared, smart guys a chance: It’s because there aren’t enough of those guys to go around. Smart women are smart enough to snatch them up. That’s why there aren’t millions of Barack Obama clones walking around wondering why no black woman will have them.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Two businesses, one marriage - can it work?

Hey Covenant Groupies,

I found this wonderful article in FORTUNE Small Business and it reminded me of Kevin and me as we live and work side by side every day. WE LOVE WORKING TOGETHER!!!! However, we've found tons of couples who are absolutely against such tom-foolery LOL!!

Read the brief article below and tell me if you could you possibly work with your spouse daily?

(FORTUNE Small Business) --

Dear FSB: My husband and I manage separate small businesses. Will this hurt or help my marriage?
- Reykah, San Diego

Dear Reykah: Having two CEOs in the house can actually be less stressful than cohabiting and sharing management of the same business, says Kathy Marshack, a psychologist and family business coach in Vancouver, Wash.

Spouses with separate businesses "can be successful in their own regard and share their successes with one another without feeling like they are in competition," she says.

However, our experts admit that it's rare to have two CEOs at the helm of a household - and they recommend a few strategies to help prevent tension.
Being a small business owner is often a 24/7 job. Family Business Institute president Wayne Rivers suggests sitting down with your spouse to discuss familial responsibilities. For instance, who will handle the household duties, such as cooking and cleaning? Who will take care of the kids if one has to stay home sick?
"Love is not enough to get you through everything," he says. "Crystal clear over-communication should be the rule of the day."
Unlimited Partnership: Five couples' stories

If your spouse owns a business in your industry, it's important to establish professional boundaries. While writing her book, Entrepreneurial Couples: Making it Work at Work and at Home, Marshack studied a husband and wife who each owned trucking brokerages. New business was up for grabs, but the married couple agreed never to go after each other's clients.

As many of the pairs in our cover package on entrepreneurial couples do, married CEOs should set aside no-business-talk time and vacations.

Michelle Hege, COO and partner at public relations firm Desautel Hege Communications, keeps business chat to a minimum during her regular Saturday date night with husband Richard Beaven, co-owner of Signia Capital Management. However, she values the fact that Richard understands firsthand the trials and tribulations of running a business.

"You can talk about an issue with clients, or finances, and you have a live-in counselor who can contribute perspective and talk you down off the ledge," she says. If one half of this Spokane couple has to end a business trip or meeting early to look after their four-year-old son, Cadane, the other one agrees to make that sacrifice the next time around.

One item of business that Rivers suggests you plan and discuss with your entrepreneurial spouse is your exit strategy - especially if you envision a retirement spent enjoying time together.

"If your spouse is going to work another 10 years, you can't spend that retirement time together," warns Rivers.

Rivers cautions that problems may arise from personality clashes.

"If they are both CEOs, there's a chance that each has a domineering personality," Rivers says. "They've got to figure out how to switch that off or, at least, compromise."

However, Marshack believes that headstrong personalities can contribute to a healthy marriage.

"When you've got two boss-type people, they are pretty good at negotiating deals - even in the home," she says.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Saving Black Marriages: Does it Take a Village

Hey Covenant Groupies,

I read an interesting article on and wanted to share it with you.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- From the outside, Johnny and Shanna Woodbury looked like the perfect couple. They had been married 13 years, owned multiple properties and were successful managers. They also had four beautiful children -- a son and a daughter fresh out of college they had prior to getting married and a 12-year-old daughter on the cheerleading team and an 8-year-old son on the honor roll.
Together they had built and moved into their 7,200-square-foot dream home in Prince George's County, Maryland, with five bedrooms, six bathrooms, two sunrooms and a basement. Both were Christians who regularly attended the New Samaritan Baptist Church.

But privately, the Woodburys' marriage was in turmoil.

"I love my husband" said Shanna Woodbury of their marriage. "But I feel so overworked and underappreciated. I work full-time like my husband, but if I don't maintain the domestic responsibilities of the house, nothing gets done. Added to that, I manage our rental properties and take care of everything for our kids, alone."

Her husband started to echo similar frustrations.

"I'm faithful to my wife, I give her my whole paycheck but I work the late shift and my job is demanding. When I come home, I don't need to hear her mouth -- I just need to watch my favorite football game in peace."

Shanna grows more overwhelmed, tempers flare and the two begin arguing more and listening less. Tension took over their home and their fighting began to take a toll on the rest of the family, resulting in disciplinary issues with the kids.
"I realized my family was dysfunctional," says Shanna Woodbury. "But we also knew that divorce was not an option."

The Woodburys knew they needed help. So a friend introduced them to Basic Training for Couples -- a class that had helped pull their friends' marriage back from the brink of divorce.

Shanna and Johnny Woodbury enrolled.

"Marriage is one of those entities that you have to know going in, it will be hard, but you're not alone," says Dr. Rozario Slack, speaking to an audience at a couples graduation.

Slack, a pastor and relationship consultant, is the co-creator of the "Basic Training for Couples Curriculum" and co-author of "10 Great Dates for Black Couples."
"I grew tired of the statistics and when I look at my children, I knew I had to do something to prevent marriage from becoming a dinosaur in our community," says Slack
There are many influences that have shaped, affected or strained black marriages, according to marriage and family experts. Among them: African tribal traditions, the horrors of slavery, racial integration in the U.S. that paved the way to more freedoms and the migrations of thousands of African-Americans that fractured or reshaped communities.

"Moving from one community to another could affect marriage because it disrupts social ties," says Andrew Cherlin, a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University and author of the landmark book, "The Marriage-Go-Round: The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today."
"Migration separates people from friends and relatives who could help them through family crisis," says Cherlin.

Black couples in crisis inspired Slack and Nisa Muhammad to create Basic Training for Couples. The free eight-week program educates dating, engaged or married couples in groups of five to 15. The lessons cover the value of commitment, responsibility to the black community, psychological differences between the sexes, sexual intimacy and conflict resolution.

Slack created the male-friendly portion while Muhammad, who founded National Black Marriage Day and the Wedded Bliss Foundation, created the female-friendly portion.
"Marriage belongs to the community," says Muhammad. "An unhealthy marriage relationship gives children an inaccurate representation of marriage, which they in turn replicate for generations."

In the program, couples also learn about the history of the African-American marriage and many for the first time plot their family tree to trace marriage and divorces.

"We do this to help them understand: Is there any support for their marriage in their family?" says Muhammad. "Who are the role models? Do they see women who are great successful wives? Are there men that are great successful husbands or a brotherhood of husbands? If not, the members of the class become their community of support because we all want the same thing -- successful marriages."

The group support is key in Basic Training. Occasionally the facilitators divide the class into gender groups. This encourages the men and women to openly express their struggles without inhibitions and gives them the opportunity to offer advice and hold each other accountable.

And, the lessons don't end after the eight-week course. The couples are empowered to go back to their communities and bring awareness to other couples. They also plan outings, from game nights to sleepovers for the women.

Since taking the class, the Woodburys have gone from co-existing with each other to having a marriage that is stronger than it has ever been. They have also met friends and other couples that will help them stay strong.

"We have become better parents because for the first time we are on one accord, and there is far less arguing for our children to witness," Shanna Woodbury told CNN. "At the end, our children have been the biggest benefactors and for that we are grateful."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Covenant Marriage: Oprah Can't hang!!!

Hey Covenant Groupies,

A couple of days ago Oprah (truly not one of my favorite people) made some remarks about her relationship with Stedman and why they haven’t gotten married after 20 years. There’s more to this comment, but this is all that has been posted to date.

I wonder if the heart of an attentive and loving man is far less appealing to her than the millions of fans who sing her praises daily. Does she purposefully impact his life? Is she as magnificent to him as the world tells her she is to them? When she gives him a gift, does he respond the same way her audience does? Does he blog about her? Does he live his life surrendered to her every word? Has he made her his God? Does he wish he had her money and fame? Can she really just go home at the end of the day and simply be loved by him or does she have to gain the whole world?

Read it and share your thoughts.

“Had we made the official marriage commitment, we wouldn’t still be together. The reason the relationship works is that we get to define it on our terms. It would be very different if we were in a ‘traditional’ relationship where I was expected to be a wife and every now and then cook a meal!”

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Husbands: Be the Savior in Your Home - NOW!!!

Hey Covenant Groupies,

On August 31, I posted Life Lesson #11 of our Pastors sermon entitled, "Find a Wife Who Fears God." It was themed for husbands to know the type of woman they are supposed to have. Today Life Lesson #12 goes up. It's entitled, "Let a Man Who Loves Correction Find You." Likewise, as with the previous sermon, it's themed for wives to know the type of husband she too, is supposed to have. ENJOY!!!!!!!

LIFE LESSON 12: LET A MAN WHO LOVES CORRECTION FIND YOU from David Randolph Holder on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

QUESTION OF THE DAY! - The Mirror: Do You Allow Marriage To Expose Your Sin?

Hey Covenant Groupies,

It was so difficult for me to accept that one of the greatest gifts God gave me was a full length mirror called Kevin. With him, the avenue to truth wasn't always easy. He took pleasure in helping me discover who I was and who I'm to truly become because he knew that's what he was supposed to do. I didn't always like though.

Being married to the mate for my soul forces me to have to look, honestly, at my character flaws, selfishness, and non-Christian attitude, encouraging me to be sanctified and cleansed and to grow in godliness; with his help. However, this couldn't have happened until I felt safe enough to be exposed before him.

Do you hide from your spouse or do you welcome the spotlight of marriage to grow in grace and better understand how sinful you really are?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Divorce American Style

Hey Covenant Groupies,

This weekend, I watched a film Kevin had seen before and found it truly full of insight. For instance, this film, released in 1967, unveiled some very hard truths about marriage, love, singleness and the work that really goes into making a marriage work. I was intrigued to see that 42 years ago men were still asking for respect and women were crying out for love. When neither need was met, divorce became the only option. This is the only trailer I could find of this film and an additional link below. If you get a chance watch this and let me know your thoughts.

Movie Synopsis
An unhappy couple discover breaking up really is hard to do in this satiric comedy. Richard Harmon (Dick Van Dyke) and his wife, Barbara (Debbie Reynolds), are a typical married couple in American Suburbia -- which is to say they're not very happy with each other. After 15 years together, Richard and Barbara decide they've reached the end of their collective rope, and after several rounds of marriage counseling proves fruitless, they file for divorce.

Soon they’ll discover divorce may not have been the best decision.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Confusion: Tonex's Expounds On Marital Covenant and Same-Sex Covenant - WOW!!!!!!!!

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Please know that I am not posting this to shame, hurt or judge the brothr, I have had some great conversations with Tonex. However, I disagree with so much of what he's saying and I implore all of us to pray for him. Far too often in this interview he uses the phrase, "I believe" as opposed to "God says" to defend his actions.

This is part #2 of a 3-part interview with Lexi on The Word Network.

Share your thoughts.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Priceless: My Husband - My HERO

Hey Covenant Groupies,

I just want to share something that happened this week. I had to cover the screening for Tyler Perry's movie, "I Can Do Bad All By Myself." I didn't find that out until the last minute though that the Red Carpet would be taking place as well.

Kevin and I thought we were just attending the screening, going home and writing a review. Like a true trooper, when we found out that we'd have to cover the Red Carpet without any preparation or a camera, Kevin just jumped right into photographer and videographer mode and began to take photos and videotape with the reliable Blackberry. We were able to video tape and photograph everyone from Tyler Perry, Taraji P. Henson, Glady Knight to Mary J. Blige.

Everything turned out so great.

It may sound corny, but I couldn't stop smiling. Kevin came to my rescue and at that moment and there was nothing I felt I couldn't do. This happened on Tuesday, but I can't stop thanking him. Even today.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Unconditional Respect: A Man’s Love Language

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Ladies, when was the last time you showed your husband unconditional respect? A respect where a woman reverences, regards, honors, notices, prefers, venerates, esteems, defers to, praises, admires and loves her husband exceedingly despite the fact that he may be behaving unlovingly.

I know for a long time I didn’t. I did not believe that Kevin had earned the right for me to respect him and neither do a great many of my women friends. Many are still fighting against respecting their husbands for a variety of reasons, but none justified by what God calls women to do. Yes, I knew and Kevin knew that I loved him, but respect wasn’t coming his way at all. I had always heard that men were to earn their respect; however, never did I decipher that respect in the world or work place was totally different from respect in the home and in his marriage. In the world, yes men must earn their respect, but a man’s wife must respect her husband “just because.”

I put Kevin through it for a long time. We argued for any reason we could think of. I knew I always felt hurt and abandoned, but I never concerned myself with his feelings. It never dawned on me that the reason I didn’t feel loved by him was because he didn’t get respect from me. He shut down and would not respond to me at all. I was in HELL and so was he!

At some point in our lives, we’ve put so much emphasis on “unconditional love” that we’ve made respect something our husbands must earn and failed to recognize it as something that’s rightfully theirs. How do we justify making him earn something that’s already his? We’re wives, not the judge or jury. How inappropriate to think, ladies, that just because we love our husbands, we’re respecting them. Have we mistakenly redefined how, when, and why we should respect our men? What if they did the same to us when it came to loving us?

I remember about 5 years ago specifically sitting Kevin down and telling him that I didn’t respect him. What a blow that must have been to him as a man! I wasn’t revealing this to him to be disrespectful, but more importantly, I had recently realized that I had been consistently disrespectful to him. My tone of voice, my dissatisfied facial expressions, my constant usurping his authority, my refusal to follow his lead, my unwillingness to let him make decisions without my questioning him and even my stubbornness to simply follow him were all signs of my disrespect and the birth of his frustration and shutting down. I easily saw what Kevin was doing to me, but he was exacerbated trying to get me to see what I was doing to him.

Although some may think so, love is not the only thing necessary in marriage; our men need respect. Stop putting limitations on his respect and just give it to him. Stop trying to make him earn what God has already said was rightfully his. We define love as love and men define love as R-E-S-P-E-C-T

It’s no mystery that God commanded men to love wives because they just don’t do it naturally; as well He commanded women to Respect their husbands because, it too, is not a natural action for us. We love to love, but we don’t love to respect.

In order to love our husbands in a way that they will rceive it, we must seek the help of the Holy Spirit. They are nt our fathers, ex-boyfriends, or any other man from our pasts, they are our HUDBANDS. Will you do it; will you begin to respect your man unconditionally?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

QUESTION OF THE DAY! - Living With Your In-Law

Hey Covenant Groupies,

In the past few weeks, I have seen numerous commercials, shows and even movies that touched on having your spouses parent live with the two of you. I must say that I had the best Mother-in-Law and Kevin comments, very often, how much he loves my mother. She's non-intrusive, prayerful and extremely encouraging of our marriage. Wisely, we never bring her into our marriage, unless and until, God nudges us to do so. Kevin's mom was quite amazing as well. She never meddled in our relationship, but she was always full of wisdom and insights, not only about relationships, but her son.

We both desired nothing more than to honor our parents.

When my mother-in-law was sick, Kevin and I discussed her possibly moving in. The Bible speaks heavily of taking care of the widow; and that she was. Immediately, Kevin began to set rules that she'd have to abide by. Unfortunately, she passed away before that became a reality, but my comfort came when Kevin took the initiative to maintain our marital vows and home stucture, no matter what and/or who could have distrupted our balance.

Would you allow your in-law to move in with you? If so, what rules would you set to maintain your marital structure?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Marital Re-Assessment – Did I Marry the Wrong Person?

Hey Covenant Groupies,

To that question, I say yes & no. I suppose if we’d searched a little harder and looked a little longer, we could have and maybe would have married someone different; someone more compatible to us. I’m quite sure it would have been nice to have someone more sensitive, loving, warm, understanding, friendly, respectful, romantic, a better listener, but then what? What does that say, not only about our needs, but our expectations of someone else? What about our ability to be challenged, tested and loved by someone not quite like us? It’s easy to love us, but what about someone totally opposite? Our dream mate, on paper, may be the right choice for us, but are we the right person for them?

Too often we want what we don’t have and we refuse to become what we desire. We think if we could somehow mold and manipulate our mates’ characteristics before we commit to a serious relationship, we’d be content. This is simply not true, 1) because there is no such thing as a perfect mate and 2) because no one can choose a better life partner for us like God. No matter how many lists we’ve formulated detailing our perfect mate or even once we’re married, we can nag our spouse to be a better person - for us, but we all end up getting more of what we need than what we want regardless of whether we realize it or not. God makes sure of it!

As you all know, to me, Kevin is the BEST man for me; no one could ever take his place. But this was not always the case. Kevin and I were not attracted to one another when we first met because we, too, had lists and expectations based on past experiences. We had set up definitive barriers for the next people we dated. When we first married and the arguments succeeded the love, you couldn’t tell me that this marriage wasn’t a joke; that God was truly hookin’ me up with the wrong person. I knew for certain that I married the wrong person and I was angry.

The strain on what was perceived as my happiness forced me into prayer. I thought Kevin was going to get fixed while I prayed; how self-righteous of me. Actually, it was while in prayer that God revealed two very profound things to me; about me. 1) He said that, “In His eyes Kevin is perfect and I needed to see him that way as well.” I had seen Kevin as many things in our relationship, but never perfect. 2) Then God revealed how He loved me just the way I am, faults and all, and I needed to love Kevin exactly the same way; faults and all. These all were true, but the revelation about myself, was even bigger. I learned that out of my lack of respect and love for him that I had grown contemptuous towards Kevin, I lacked compassion and forgiveness, I easily spotted all of his faults and I set aside his feelings in lieu of acknowledging him as my good and honorable husband; the right man for me.

Selfishly, when things were not going well, I questioned whether he was the right man for me and he was most certainly right when “Things” were great. This was me denying my own responsibility in the relationship and the state that it was in. It was easier to make him the fall guy. I was making him responsible for what he was supposed to give and get from me; the love and the respect. However, I’ve learned from a biblical perspective, that the person I’d longed for in Kevin had to transpire in me first. I had to become “right” in order to get “right.” I had to be for him what he needed in order to received what I needed.

I guess you can say Kevin was the wrong person for me because he did not fit the expectations and lists I thought I desired; he was the wrong height, complexion, weight, you name it, but he is the right person because he fulfills every empty space in my life, he challenges me to be better, he has the heart that I need, the smile that I melts me, the humor that restores me and the strength that I just don’t have. He’s gentle when necessary, powerful always, committed, truthful, kind, merciful and loving. Needless to say, I’ve committed to always treat Kevin like he’s the right person – no matter what. As one poet writes, “Choose your love; then love your choice.”

In a nutshell, I guess, it’s our expectations that define our spouses as the right or wrong person.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Can the Wife be the Primary Provider and the Husband Still Feel Like a Man?

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Not a topic so easily or joyfully discussed, but Kevin and I often have the "talk" about those moments when I made more money than he did. Did I continue to treat him like a man or did I take on an attitude that screamed he didn't deserve to still be treated with respect? The state of the economy has turned many houses upside down. Husbands have been fired; resulting in roles changing. He's now Mr. Mom and he's far from comfortable. The wife has become the sole provider; sometimes resulting in her getting a second job even.

What does this do to the man emotional, physically, physiologically, and spiritually?

He doesn't feel like a man anymore, he's depressed, scared and uncertain. Whereas, some wives are indulging in this newfound power to call the shots. She's now taken on both roles and feels invincible. Scary; but true.

How does a man stay home and take on his wife's role and still feel like a man and how does he get his wife to give him back his rightful place?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Out of the Mouth of Babes: Truth Uncut

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Kevin and I are in the process of getting some children and pre-teens (ages 5-15 years old)together to discuss how they explain, see and understand love, marriage, family and dating. In my search for something totally unrelated,I found this video.

Watch it and then tell me how you think your child(ren) would explain love, marriage, family and dating. What have they learned and who taught them?