Saturday, January 30, 2010

Marital Roles: To Change or Not to Change?

Hey Covenant Groupies,

I was recently reading the Huffington post and found this article by Tabby Biddle. folks are always trying to redefine things to make life better for them. Although, I don't requre easy, very rarely do I debate the need most folks have. Oftentimes, I applaud those who invent, create and sacrifice to ease our lives. But when it comes to marriage, let's not touch it. It has existed on a foundation that's outlasted our grand, great-grand and great-great grandparents and will outlast us too. Marriage doesn't need to change, our perspectives, outlook and reality about what God created when the world began has to.

Read the article and let us know your thoughts.

Probably many of us can agree that for much of the 20th century the archetypal gender roles of marriage were: husband as breadwinner and protector and wife as homemaker and mother. Even if a woman was working, there was an unspoken code about the roles a husband and wife would assume upon being married. But over the recent couple of decades, due to economic and socio-political changes, that code can no longer be assumed and more to the point -- is in a process of reconstruction. Add to this that same sex marriages and partnerships are causing many to reexamine our suppositions about marriage.

Last week in The New York Times, writer/performer Sandra Tsing Loh wrote an opinion piece entitled "My So-Called Wife" discussing the changing roles of men and women in marriage. "I don't know how it's going for my sisters, but as my 40s and Verizon bills and mortgage payments roll on, I seem to have an ever more recurring 1950s housewife fantasy," says Sandra, the main breadwinner in her first of marriage of 13 years and now the main breadwinner again with a new partner.

The conversation on this topic is hot right now because a recent study by the Pew Research Center, entitled "The Rise of Wives," found that while men overall still earn more than women, wives are now the primary breadwinner in 22 percent of couples, up from seven percent in 1970.

I look at this and think, Okay, that means that 78 percent of husbands are still the primary breadwinner in families ... why is everyone making a big deal about these numbers? Then I realize that as it becomes an increasingly common situation for a woman to make more money than her husband, this rattles the very foundation of our belief system about marriage.

In our household, while my husband is still the main breadwinner, he is also the one who takes care of the home. He does the cooking, laundry, etc. He considers cooking a masculine activity, or at least not a gender-specific one.

(I do want to point out here that while my husband enjoys a lot of domestic duties, he draws the line at some things. "I don't think I'd pull the vacuum out if you had a bunch of your girlfriends over. That might be a little embarrassing.")
Some day our roles might switch and I could be the main breadwinner. The idea of being the main breadwinner sounds exhilarating to me. However, I wonder ... when I am there, will I still feel the same way? How deep does the "husband" and "wife" archetypal programming go?

Tara Parker-Pope, health and wellness columnist for The New York Times, poses the question in a recent article: [Is] a financially successful woman a threat to her husband or a relief?

I have one male friend who insists that while his ex-wife may not admit it, the demise of their marriage began when she started making more money than him. "She lost respect for me," he said. And from there, a host of other problems ensued.
In Gary Zukav's book, The Seat of the Soul, he argues that the old archetype of marriage is no longer functional. He says it is being replaced with a new archetype that is designed to assist spiritual growth. Instead of marrying for physical security, couples are coming together to assist in their mate's evolution and spiritual growth process. In other words, a shift toward an archetype of sacred partnership.

It's hard to deny that the circumstances affecting modern-day marriages have changed. Perhaps what needs to happen is a complete disassembling of the old notions of marriage and assumed roles of husband and wife, so we can start anew.
How to do this? In my own marriage - one step and one day at a time.

While redefining archetypes may not be easy for every couple, it may be worth it for the benefits of personal growth and marriages that are more meaningful ... and that last longer.

What do you think?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tonight's Dinner-No Pressure

Hey Covenant Groupies,

I've always loved to cook. My mother taught her three children early on how to take care of themselves. In recent years, it's amazing to me how God has given me a heart, after a day of running a business, to cook for Kevin. I cook everyday and love it.

Kevin makes it easy too. If I sound or look a little tired he quickly offers to eat cereal or to make his own meal; that I don't like. I believe, after a day of working hard, a man deserves a warm wife and a HOT meal.

Anyhoo, today was one of those days. I was tired, but I didn't get a chance to talk to him. So I druged through and committed to cook. Unfortunately, the ground turkey I thawed smelled a bit funny and I tossed it.

Plan B - TUNA!!!! He was like a kid in a candy store. He was so inderstanding. Tuna is one of his favorites. Not everybody's - just mine LOL!

I guess when there's no pressure and pure appreciation, serving becomes such a pleasure.

Take the pressure off, choose to appreciate your spouse, be content with their giving/service and watch what happens.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Hey Covenant Groupies,

Last night Kevin and I were having a discussion about how far we've come in the 10 years we've been together. I don't know how we got on the subject, but Kevin brought up how in his daily travels, he's often confronted with the ways women dress. He talked about how difficult it is to stay focused when the other men around him are often talking about other women. This wasn't always the case, he couldn't always have this type of conversation with me. I didn't think it was "normal" for a man to discuss his lust issues with his woman. But God...

I understood and empathized with him. This is a known struggle for most, if not all men. I know my husband and I know his weaknesses, and for him to share them with me was great. However, I couldn't help but wonder where I stood on the topic, as his wife. I thank God that I'm not a jealous woman, nonethless, I ALWAYS want to be the sexiest, bravest, smartest, most dignified woman to him, but I'm not delirious to the fact that other women catch his eye.

Although, as he talked, I did wonder how I could help him in this area of his life. I can't imagine being made to admire, hunt after and be determined to capture a woman, find one and then put all of those instincts on hold. You can't put them to rest completely, but mainatining them must be quite difficult.

Do you find it difficult to hav this conversation with your wife? How empathetic could you be if your husband shared his struggle with you, honestly and then asked for your help make you feel?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Covenant Marriage: Can you upgrade to it?

Hey Covenant Groupies,

How ya'll doin? I am still on a high from the amazing Anniversary weekend, which ended yesterday. Lord, I love that man!!!!!!

Anyhoo, on to our post. I found this the other day and thought this would be of great interest to you. The Government has given Covenant Marriages a start date, place, reasons to dissolve marriage and current year. What?????????

Covenant Marriage: An Upgrade on 'Regular' Marriage

When a man and a woman are ready to make a commitment to one another they take the final step, marriage.

Or at least that used to be the only option. Now they can choose to have a marriage (including civil and religious), or a covenant marriage.

Most people know what a marriage entails, a man and a woman of age are joined in a legal contract that can be broken by either party. There are benefits to taking such a step, including tax benefits, government benefits and employment benefits.

What additional benefits are there for a covenant marriage? More tax breaks? Additional government/employment benefits? Not quite.

What then is the reason for covenant marriages? It is intended to fight divorce, renew commitment, and "strengthen families." A covenant marriage is more difficult to dissolve than a "regular" marriage. An existing marriage can be "upgraded" to a Covenant Marriage.

There are 8 reasons a court can grant a divorce to a couple in a covenant marriage.
1. A spouse commits adultery.
2. A spouse commits a felony committed and sentenced to death or imprisonment.
3. A spouse abandoned by the other for at least 1 year before filing
4. Physical or sexual abuse of spouse, child, a relative of either spouse permanently living with them, or domestic violence/emotional abuse.
5. The spouses have been living separate and apart continuously without reconciliation for at least two years before the filing for divorce.
6. The spouses have been living separate and apart continuously without reconciliation for at least one year from the date of a legal separation.
7. A spouse has habitually abused drugs or alcohol.
8. The husband and wife both agree to a dissolution of marriage.

The reasons for a legal separation are a little different, but also limited.

In addition to the normal regulations for marriage, a couple wishing to enter a covenant marriage must receive pre-marital counseling from a member of the clergy or a marriage counselor, and sign a "declaration" indicating their intent.

The declaration reads as follows:
We solemnly declare that marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman who agree to live together as husband and wife for as long as they both live. We have chosen each other carefully and have received premarital counseling on the nature, purposes and responsibilities of marriage. We understand that a covenant marriage is for life. If we experience marital difficulties, we commit ourselves to take all reasonable efforts to preserve our marriage, including marital counseling.

Covenant marriages (in the U.S.) started in Louisiana in 1987, and have since spread to Arizona and Arkansas.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Anniversary Weekend!!!!!!!

Hey Covenant Groupies,

No posting today. Spending time with hubby and doing nothing in particular but thanking God for His gift of marriage. Back on Monday.

Friday, January 22, 2010

We Are Mobile!!!!!!

Hey Covenant Groupies,

I finally figured it out!

Your Need Has to be to Meet Their Needs

Hey Covenant Groupies,

You know, I love scripture and how it ALWAYS forces us to think, contemplate and be aware how ill-informed we are when we make decisions.

I read Luke 10:27 today which says, "You Must Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and with all your mind, And Love Your Neighbor as You Love Yourself." Ok, we've all read this many times, right? But today, the Lord had me comtemplate, in relation to the "Question of the Day" yesterday on this as it relates to our marriage.

Do we look at and receive our spouses as our neighbors? Do we truly love them as we love ourselves?

My commentary exponds on this scripture by saying, "We must love God with all our hearts, must look upon him as the best of beings, in himself most amiable, and infinitely perfect and excellent; as one whom we lie under the greatest obligations to, both in gratitude and interest. We must prize him, and value ourselves by our elation to him; must please ourselves in him, and devote ourselves entirely to him. Our love to him must be sincere, hearty, and fervent; it must be a superlative love, a love that is as strong as death, but an intelligent love, and such as we can give a good account of the grounds and reasons of. It must be an entire love; he must have our whole souls, and must be served with all that is within us... We must love our neighbors as ourselves, which we shall easily do, if we as we ought to do, love God BETTER than ourselves. We must wish well to all and ill to none; must do all the good we can in the world and no hurt, and must fix it as a rule to ourselves to do others as we would they should do to us; and this is to love our neightbor as ourselves.

Again I ask, are we loving our spouses better than ourselves? Obviously we can't if we haven't given our entire souls to God, become subordinate to him, until we prize him accordingly and more.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Hey Covenant Groupies,

I know the Question of the Day is reserved for Wednesday's, but I couldn't get to a computer until after 12am yesterday. Afterwhich, all I could think of was sleep. Anyhoo, the question is specifically for the ladies this week.

I have such a deficit when comes to disrespectng my husband, publicly or privately. And I become absolutely enraged when I see women do it and think that it's ok; that it won't have a lasting effect on how he thinks you see and think of him. A look that says, why couldn't you be more? Why are you so small? When did you become useless to me; to us?

What man deserves to be immasculated, embarrassed or useless? What man deserves his woman to look him in the face and question his manhood, his role and his authority as the head?

Waht do you do daily to intentionally make your husband feel and believe he is a man, the man, a respected man; a man that you can believe in?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Full Disclosure: Consider it an Ally

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Sorry for the delay. Kevn and I had an amazing house guest, we had a client in town, and some ministry things to take care of. All of that has prohibited me from getting back to you about "Date Night" or anything else that's been on my mind. Boy, I can't wait to figure out hw to blog from my phone. HELP!!!!!

Unfortunately, we didn't have "Date Night" because "Mr. Man" had to work late. But we did have a geat weekend with our guest and family.

Right now, I'm headed to a booksigning with client Pastor Jamal Bryant, here in NYC. He's been a client for several weeks now and I'm clear about hissordid past, but last night at his second NYC booksigning, he was unwavering in his transparency about his infidelity with his wife. He spoke about how disappointed his father was in him and it was at that moment that he knew things were REALLY bad.

He confessed to the Lord, his wife, his family and his church. He shared how his 12 year old daughter while surfng the net found some interesting things about her dad and asked, "Daddy is this true about you."

He knew he had to and could only take full rsponsibilty for his actions.

As he spoke, it made me wonder how do we pinpoint the moment when we realize things have gotten BAD? We may not have the country tappin' through the web with the ability to find out our dirty little secrets, but nonetheless, we will eventually have to come clean.

For Pastor Bryant, it was his dad. Who is it for you? Who makes you see that your wrong is also their wrong and coming clean is the only thing left to do? Is it God, your spouse, a friend, your chldren your parents etc? Why does this person affect you so?

Friday, January 15, 2010


Hey Covenant Groupies,

You know we have Date Night every Friday! We may miss a few during the month because we've just worked so much, but we make them up. So, tonight is one of those nights.

Last Friday we postponed our normal date night for unadulterated, passionate and shameless prayer. You know that kind of praying you do when you cry, sweat and just become exhausted. Yeah, that kind. Since then Kevin has been seeking more individual prayer which I know will lead to much more praying together. HALLELUJAH!!!!!!

Tonight, I think it's movie night. I'll update you all tomorrow.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Marital Habits Worth Forming

Hey Covenant Groupies,

I must admit there are many habts that we come to our marriage with; some are very good and others are detrimental. I read this list today and found these to be great habits to implemnt in our marriage, if we don't already.

Don't get me wrong, I don't believe that these habits will create some sort of happiness in our marriages, only God can do that, but I have realized over the years that they do foster stronger relationships, unity, confidence, self-seteem, trust and peace for us and our spouses.

What do you think?

10 Habits of Happy Couples
Mark Goulston, M.D.

What does it take to be happy in a relationship? If you're working to improve your marriage, here are the 10 habits of happy couples.

1. Go to bed at the same time
Remember the beginning of your relationship, when you couldn't wait to go to bed with each other to make love? Happy couples resist the temptation to go to bed at different times. They go to bed at the same time, even if one partner wakes up later to do things while their partner sleeps.

2. Cultivate common interests
After the passion settles down, it's common to realize that you have few interests in common. But don't minimize the importance of activities you can do together that you both enjoy. If common interests are not present, happy couples develop them. At the same time, be sure to cultivate interests of your own; this will make you more interesting to your mate and prevent you from appearing too dependent.

3. Walk hand in hand or side by side
Rather than one partner lagging or dragging behind the other, happy couples walk comfortably hand in hand or side by side. They know it's more important to be with their partner than to see the sights along the way.

4. Make trust and forgiveness your default mode
If and when they have a disagreement or argument, and if they can't resolve it, happy couples default to trusting and forgiving rather than distrusting and begrudging.

5. Focus more on what your partner does right than what he or she does wrong
If you look for things your partner does wrong, you can always find something. If you look for what he or she does right, you can always find something, too. It all depends on what you want to look for. Happy couples accentuate the positive.

6. Hug each other as soon as you see each other after work
Our skin has a memory of "good touch" (loved), "bad touch" (abused) and "no touch" (neglected). Couples who say hello with a hug keep their skin bathed in the "good touch," which can inoculate your spirit against anonymity in the world.

7. Say "I love you" and "Have a good day" every morning
This is a great way to buy some patience and tolerance as each partner sets out each day to battle traffic jams, long lines and other annoyances.

8. Say "Good night" every night, regardless of how you feel
This tells your partner that, regardless of how upset you are with him or her, you still want to be in the relationship. It says that what you and your partner have is bigger than any single upsetting incident.

9. Do a "weather" check during the day
Call your partner at home or at work to see how his or her day is going. This is a great way to adjust expectations so that you're more in sync when you connect after work. For instance, if your partner is having an awful day, it might be unreasonable to expect him or her to be enthusiastic about something good that happened to you.

10. Be proud to be seen with your partner
Happy couples are pleased to be seen together and are often in some kind of affectionate contact -- hand on hand or hand on shoulder or knee or back of neck. They are not showing off but rather just saying that they belong with each other.

Happy couples have different habits than unhappy couples. A habit is a discrete behavior that you do automatically and that takes little effort to maintain. It takes 21 days of daily repetition of a new a behavior to become a habit. So select one of the behaviors in the list above to do for 21 days and voila, it will become a habit...and make you happier as a couple. And if you fall off the wagon, don't despair, just apologize to your partner, ask their forgiveness and recommit yourself to getting back in the habit.

And if there was one key to happiness in love and life and possibly even success it would be to go into each conversation you have with this commandment to yourself front and foremost in your mind, "Just Listen."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Hey Covenant Groupies,

During my morning reading, I read this in my devotional.

"Credibility in our lives cannot be bought; it's something we must work for. We may be able to borrow credibility for a while by associating with credible people, but sooner or later we will need our own.
Credibility has to do with the ability to elicit belief. The reason it's essential for Christians is that our lives affect God's reputation. When we call ourselves by Christ's name, His reputation is tied to ours. If people have reason to not believe us, they may not believe God. The way to earn credibilty is to live honorably. Then others will believe and glorify God."

I read this over sentence by sentence and our marital relationships came to mind. Oftentimes, we may want to elicit the belief that our relaionships are great by associating with other couples who have it all together, but sooner or later, we'll have to put the work in. God commands and demands it, because His reputation is associated with ours.

For others to believe that marriage is difficult, is the truth - would God not be glorified by that truth? For others to hear some of the struggles we endure now and in the past; which ultimately bring God glory - will He not be pleased? For others to see their trials as temporary, but sometimes necessary and honorable. Will God not see them through based on your transparency anf honesty?

Your Christian Marriages - Are you building them based on credibility? Do you believe God is pleased with your private mariatl life? Why or why not?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Covenant - Why it's Important to Exemplify It

Hey Covenant Groupies,

You know I'm always on the hunt for some good examples of The Covenant of Marriage, well I found another one.

This is exactly why Kevin & I believe that it's so important for Fathers to give their daughters a promise ring, date them, build their self esteem and teach them about The Covenant. A girl's first date should never be with the boy who rings your bell or the boy she's sneaking out with; it should be with her daddy. That way she knows what to accept and expect when she gets married amongst other important things.

Take a look at this video and tell us what you think if your child did this.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Expectations - Our Fantasy and God's Reality

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Just recently, I was reading a book about marriage and realistic, unrealistic expectations and unmet needs. While reading it, it immediately brought back memories of expectations I had early on in our marriage. I remember clearly, how I, a newly married women, as grounded as I thought I was, I wanted and needed Kevin to meet all of my needs. No matter how grandiouse or simplistic, if he didn't meet them, there was an issue. I' lay it on thick with him, I'd be sad and distant and we'd nevr get to the heart of what was wrong.

I put so much pressure on him to be my savior; my Holy Spirit. He couldn't live up to any of them and I thought that something was wrong with him and that I had married the wrong man. It took a while, but I soon decided to seek the Lord and find out exactly what expectations were real and which ones belong to Him and which ones belong to Kevin.

I must be honest, some of them surprised me. For example, each time I had an issue, I didn't have to take them to Kevin. I can just lay at God's feet and He'd take care of them. Kevin would be none the wiser and peace would reign in our lives and home.

What a revelation and what a change in our marriage!!!!

God's reality superceded my fantasy. Can you ask for anything more.

Share some of your early expectations and your reality now.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Disappearing Acts - A Reflection of Our Love

Hey Covenant Groupies,

It took me a long time to post today. I usually post between 7pm and 9pm, but I got caught up watching "Disappaearing Acts." It's certainly not the best film in the world, but it's one of the first films Kevin and I were anxious to see that was relevant and reflective of black love. I remember us fighting traffic just to get home in enough time to see this film especially since we had both had enjoyed reading the book.

This is a beautiful 2 1/2 hour trip down memory lane. Boy, do I wish Kevin was home right now, we have pineapple chunks in the fridge LOL! I can actually remember what we ate 10 years ago as we basked in Franklin and Zora's disjointed relationship.

Franklin's a highly insecure man from a ghetto fabulous family now residing in the burbs. He wants so much to be loved and be his own man - but, like most men, he has no clue how to do that. He aspires to work with his hands so he solely relies on his love of being a construction worker in Brooklyn. Inevitably, despite help offered by his and Zora's father, he ends up lying around all day on the couch refusing to look for work because it's too cold outside and drinking.

Conversely, Zora's working tirelessly as a teacher to pay the bills, pay the rent, take care of them and the new baby, while her passion is to be a singer.

I absolutely love watchng how they let the pains, struggles and disappointemnts of life and their relationship to forced them both, to apsire to be better people.

If you get a chance watch it and let me know your thoughts.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


So Covenant Groupies,

Check this out! I'm currently reading a few books on marriage and prayer simultaneously and for the first time I'm reading about this one concept that has perplexed me for years with couples. The concept of setting aside the attitude that God calls us to have toward our spouses because we've let our emotions dictate how we'll respond to one another. I'm not saying that I've not done it, but when I realized it was wrong I stopped doing it.

Kevin and I have spoken with many couples and the majority have struggled with praying for their spouse because their angry, resentful or bitter.

However, we know of couples who, after many years, still live this way and refuse to change.

The Bible clearly says, "How can you say you love me, whom you cna't see and you don't love your brother whom you can see."

How can you truly pray for your spouse when you don't like them?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My First Love - Praying for My Husband and Others

Hey Covenant Groupies,

As Christians, if you've not already experienenced it, you will. There will be a time in your walk when you'll feel tremendously apathetic when it comes to prayer. When I first heard a Pastor say this years ago, I NEVER thought that would be me. But in 2009, I totally struggled in my prayer life and it bothered and hurt me so much. How I got to this place, I don't know. When I got there, I'm not sure of that either, but thank God for His mercy during this time and for convicting my heart and giving me a passion for prayer.

Around September, I couldn't stop asking for "My First Love" to return. God not only answered my prayer, but He started with my family. I began to freely and lovingly praying for my family, then friends, then marriages and so forth. God has brought it back strong too.

I could go on forever, but I just wanted to share one of the prayers I used to pray for Kevin when we first got married. I recently found it and wanted to include you in my journey. It brought back some amazing memories for me. It short and specific.


Lord, I thank you for my Kevin. Help him to trust you with all his heart and not to depend on his own understanding. May he seek your will in all that he does. Direct his plans.

His hard work and provision for his family are a blessing. Help him to fear You and turn his back on evil. Give him the desire to honor You with his wealth so that out household will be overflowing wth yur abundance.

When You discipline Kevin, Lord, help him not to be disouraged but to delight in your correction. May he desire Your wisdom above wealth and fame.

Help him, Lord, to focus on good planning and insight. Give him compassion to help the needy. Guard his tongue and his heart. Keep him humble befre You. May his upright life of integrity bring honor and blessing on our household. May he have eyes of love only for me. Fix Kevin's heart on you. Amen.

Adapted from proverbs 1-4

"Lord, I Wish My Husband Would Pray With Me."By Larry Keefauver, D.Min

Monday, January 4, 2010

Holiday Love - Family, Fun and Food - Oh Yeah and Wii

HAPPY NEW YEAR Covenant Groupies,

I do hope you all had an amazing, peace-filled and blessed Christmas and New Year! Kevin and I spent the holiday with family. We were with my brother, sister-in-law and neices and nephew. There's a new nephew coming in about 8-weeks. YAYYYYYY!!!!!! Will keep you posted.

I noticed that my last post was last year LOL! Once I master how to post from my phone, I'll be more consistent when I can't make it to my computer.

We went over on Christmas Eve and didn't go home until Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday, Kevin and I worked - as much as we could. Then our nieces and nephew came over on Wednesday. Kevin and I decided to take the babies out for the day. We spent the entire afternoon at the American Museum of Natural History. WOW what a day! The kids couldn't handle all of the excitement of such a HUGE place, but they so enjoyed themselves.

We came back home to watch "Planet 51" and "Call of the Wild."

We then went to church Thursday evening and brought in the New Year at New York Covenant Church. Da bomb!!!!

And wouldn't you know it, we went back to my brother's after leaving church and didn't come home until Saturday evening.

Now I need to let you all in on a little secret. Kevin and I were introduced to Wii. Oh my Gosh, how we're hooked now! Between the boxing, baseball, golf, tennis, bowling and table tennis, we are hooked! Not to mention our body aches like crazy. What a workout!

As a Chef, my brother could have cooked, but instead we ate out and loved it. We didn't want him to be stuck in the kitchen while we all had the fun.

I just noticed how many exclamation marks I have in this post. I guess that tells you just how much of an amazing time we had.

Oh and don't let me forget, we took time to discuss marriage, prayer and how we could help other couples in and out of our church.

What could be better than this for the holiday?