Thursday, February 25, 2010
Several months ago we wrote severals posts about Holy Sex. It was refreshing to be able to write and speak about something that's been so demonized; yet created to be so beautiful. The church has taken such a "hand'off" approach to this holy act. Far too many couples need it though; otherwise, couples continue to live in marriages where their sexual relationships are lacking the Holy experience so graciously given to us by God.
If were honest about our introduction to sex most, if not all, of us learned about sex from some very defiled places; pornography, friends, sexual abuse, TV, magazines etc. None of these places are the environments ordained by God in which we are to learn about sex. With that in mind, it begs to question, what are we doing in our bedrooms. Do we actually realize that God doesn;t turn away when we make love to and with our spouses? Hebrews 13:4 says, "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure (undefiled)for God will judge the adulterer (married) and the sexually immoral (single)." Does what we do in our bedrooms honor God?
Gary Thomas wrote something that we found very interesting. "Sex means that I see my wife as a holy temple of God, not just as a tantalizing human body. It even means that sex becomes a form of physical prayer - a picture of a heavenly intimacy that rivals shekinah glory of old... If we experience sex in this way, we will be transformd in the marriage bed every bit as much as we are transformed on our knees in prayer." WHOA!!!!!!!
That is such a dynamic and pivital picture of what God has really called, sex between His Chosen, to be
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
We've all been watching patiently as man after man, celebrity after celebrity, Clergyman after Clergyman and Politician after Politician admit to his infidelity; his inability to remain self-controlled. Of course, it's after they've been caught and/or about to be exposed that they're gun-ho to confess. Families have been destroyed because of their inability to remain true to their vows. Then we have Mark Sanford who asked his wife not to include the vows of fidelity at their wedding ceremony.
Yes, they are men. Yes, they have shortcomings, Yes, they are imperfect, but then after all has hit the fan, these same men are asking their wives to stand by their sides during their downfall.
I say, what nerve. Why not allow the wive times to assess what has just happened. The men have been living this "other" life for however long and the wive are expected to just fall into place and support their men.
What would you do ladies? How would you handle this? Could you handle this?
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
It was after reading the below in "Sacred Marriage" in 2004, that I realized that "WHEN" was much more of a possibility than "IF." I was going to soon understand, believe, endure and struggle though more than I could have ever imaginged in this marriage, and "IF" only someone would have told me, the marriage truth.
In the 1940's, writer Katherine Anne Porter wrote an insightful essay about marriage and made a pivotal observation:
A woman found herself dismayed, horrified, full of guilt and forebodings because she is finding out little by little hat she is capable of hating her husband, whom she loves faithfully. She can hate him at times as fiercely and mysteriously, indeed in terribly much the same way, as often she hated her parents, her brothers and sisters, whom she loves, when she was a child...
At this time I was only married a year, so I couldn't quite grasp this observation -"Hate my husband, no way," was all I thought. Well, you can just imagine my surprise, when during a rough patch in our relationship, I had an incredible realization: I could hate my husband. At this moment I had to admit that, it wasn't "IF", but "WHEN" I was going to experience the terrible tribulations that many folks before me had endured and I didn't like it. I didn't like it at all. This feeling, this spot was not reserved for my husband, but for people I considered enemies, people who hurt me, people who took advantage of me and now the man I took my Covenant vows with.
What do you do with feelings and emotions like this? I didn't know and I had no one to talk to. Well, I took a vertical stand and asked the Lord to show me what these feelings were about, why I had them and how do I overcome them. And He did.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Based on 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
First of all, in life, much less in marriage, no on wants to seem weak – fragile, frail, incapable, unable - not strong. This leaves us vulnerable to be used and abused; whether intentional or unintentionally by those we know and love as well as those we don’t know. Who wants that life? Realistically, no one does. But God calls us to bring our weaknesses to him. What’s even more paradoxical, He doesn’t want the weakness we choose to bring to Him, but ALL of them; the ones we know about and the ones we don’t know about, the ones that are masked as strengths, the ones that were inflicted on us by others and on and on.
One of the most beautiful things about God is that He won’t tell our little secrets with others and He won’t embarrass us in front of the proverbial “company”. If we don’t know or won’t acknowledge all of our weaknesses, God will reveal them to us during our personal time with Him, when we’re walking down the street, eating dinner, shopping, while in church, sitting on the train, while driving to work etc. His DESIRE is that we desire to be changed and not be bound by our weaknesses when He’s more than please to remove them.
When we are weak, God is strong. This is and shall forever be the Christian’s paradox: Once we acknowledge our weaknesses we make room for God’s awesome and amazing Grace. When we welcome His Grace we are then introduced to His good will and good work for us. We are enlivened, encouraged, and supported by Gods perfect power. As well, we are more purposeful to do the work of the Lord in a Spirit that truly seeks to glorify Him. When we recognize ourselves as being weak all by ourselves, then we make the wise choice and run straight to God and it is here that He affords us His whole strength.
I believe God is attracted to our weaknesses, because, we are who He’s called to be His ambassadors here on earth, we are made in His image and we are Holy because He is Holy – faults and all. How HOT is that?It’s our faults that truly prove to the world that the miraculous wonders are His. We could never do the impossible, the mighty, the good, the faithful, the honorable, and the truthful “things” without Him. And as often a possible, we should tell people that.
Only God is perfect, so in us He shows the world who He really is through His chosen children. We are His instruments. Instruments cannot be played or used properly without someone breathing life/air (proper air) into them. Otherwise they/we are useless. They/we just sit by doing nothing, being nothing and purposeful in nothing – without God. The strong, authoritative and powerful God loves and uses only His weak, imperfect and powerless children.
The laboratory of marriage will always test our strengths against our weaknesses, let’s allow our God and our spouses unveil them both to us – out of love.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
In James 1:2-4, the scripture says, “Count it all joy when we fall into divers temptations (various trials); knowing this, that the trying of your faith (testing) worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire (complete) wanting (lacking) nothing.”
The scripture doesn’t say IF, but WHEN we go through something, we are to allow the trial to grow us spiritually; our allowance will make way for our perfection. Not perfection as in; blameless, sinless, or holier than thou, but mature in faith. Like wise, we aren’t to enjoy the trial; that would be crazy, but we are to see the victory that God has in store for “those who love Him.” Marriages are one of those areas of our lives that trials and temptations will test us and test us BIG!
In 2008 Kevin and I were testing in such a way that it frightened the both of us. When we were dating Kevin said to me that he wouldn’t know how he’d make it if his mother passed away. Well, she had been sick since we’d been married, I’d always prayed about being a source of hope, love and strength whenever it happened. So, guess our surprise when we got a call May 2008 saying that Mom was I the hospital. Because we hadn’t been informed of any sickness, we thought we were just going to visit. Instead she was hooked to ventilator, she couldn’t breathe on her own, her limbs were dying, there was no brain function, her kidney’s weren’t functioning. She was dying. WHAT?!!!!!!!!
SIDE NOTE: My mother-in-law was the best at the game of mother-in-law’s. This woman, literally, took me by the hand and truly introduced me to her son. She shared the good, bad, ugly of this man, because, she admitted that most of them came from her. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until later in life that she realized that some of her habits were wrong. To right her wrong, she gave me thorough insight to my husband and how to deal with him in a manner often undeserving of his particular ways. Ultimately, what she did was give me an avenue in which to afford my husband more forgiveness than I could normally or would want to muster up. How loving is that? She took total responsibility for the negative influences she bestowed upon her son; influences that she knew would or could wreck our marriage.
Yes, two days after Kevin and I arrived at the hospital, his Mom passed away and I was left with the man who had no clue what he’d do without his mother. He was left with a wife who was afraid for his mental health. Despite the fact that Kevin was not a momma’s boy, his mom made sure of that, Kevin was extremely close to her and her to him. It was the interactions between the two of them that I found fertile ground to grow in love with Kevin. But god was so Good. The very next Sunday we were at church and Kevin was KEVIN. We were able to talk openly about mom and how much we missed her. That's God. That's answered prayer!!
So, I guess, in all likelihood, we should seek out ways to best prepare ourselves for such inevitabilities. This, one of our many trials, really pulled Kevin and I together in ways that we never thought it could. We found out who we were for and with one another. We recognized that our trials have become the perfect discipline to rid our faith of any impurities and all falsehood; because they delivered to us, on a platter, who we really are individually and as a couple. No, as a couple, we’re not perfect, but we have been matured and will continue to be available for more growth.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Kevin and I often talk about how at some point couples, including ourselves, will or have disagree(d) about roles, duties and chores. Why do we not take hold of the guidebook that lays out the truth of our duties, roles and some of our chores? Why do we insist on fighting this fight as if we don’t know what we’re supposed to do? Is it pride, is it ego or is it control? Conversely, when we get a new job and we’re given the work manual, we read it frequently so we don’t disappoint our boss, increase the knowledge of our jobs and decrease our chances of losing our jobs. We don’t fight him/her or disagree with our assigned roles and duties. Doesn’t it seem strange that we’ll fight God concerning the role and duties he’s assigned us? Huuuuuuum!
Spiritual Leader Protector Provider
Help Meet Comforter
Receiver of the Word
No where in the above list of biblical roles does it say that husbands are forever deemed the garbage-taker- outers or that wives are forever subordinated to scrubbing the floors. Society, however, has told us that we are entitled to fight about who cooks, does dishes, laundry, mop the floor etc. These are not roles, these are chores. Chores are about how we want our homes to be defined, chores are to benefit the home not just the people living in it, and they are meant to be shared.
Sometimes, chores even force us to be sacrificial and take on your spouses chores.
In marriage, chores are about love, consideration, unity and peace. I cook dinner, Kevin cooks breakfast; I take out trash, so does Kevin, I do laundry, so does Kevin, I mop, so does Kevin; I do the majority of the house cleaning (bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen etc.) and so does he when he has a moment and I don’t make him feel bad about it and we grocery shop together. To underline it, we make sure it’s not our gender that defines our chores, but our hearts.
When we look at the duties of husbands and wives, we can take a look at 1 Peter 3: 1-7 and find:
Trust in God
Subjection to Husband
Trust in God
Why these duties, you may ask? Because God takes notice and records the actions of all men and women.
Embracing our marital duties, roles and chores will continue to be a chain around our necks until and unless we commit to truly divorcing ourselves and humbly submit to thinking of our spouse more and ourselves less. It’s transformative journey that God desires to take us on. We must, either accept that God does know what’s best for us or commit to living in a perpetual state of pain, disillusion, hurt, fear just to name a few. Believe me the former proves that God will truly get the glory, not us.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Marital Compassion - A Model of Christs' Love.
If we're honest, we'd be the first to admit that our spouses have endured a great deal of pain during their lifetime; unbearable pain that has yet to be healed. We too, have suffered the same if not worse. However, when we get married, there are some things we can do, although we didn't cause this pain, that will show support and encouragement that will draw and seal our heart's together like nothing else can: COMPASSION.
Jesus, was so intentional in displaying compassion to EVERYONE. He did not discriminate against the thief, adulterer, liar, astrologer, tax collecter, fisherman, betrayer etc. And neither should we.
When pain comes in your spouses direction, how do you repond? Do you run and hide? Do you avoid them? Or Do you show them compassion? If you show compassion, how do you do that?
Would they say that you're there for them when they need you? If you were put on trial for having compassion for your spouse, would there be enough evidence present to find you guilty?
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
This is part #1 of a 2 part series on roles, duties and chores in the marital relationship. To some of you this may seem elementary, but to our engaged, newly married and singles, we believe this is soooo very necessary. Be on the lookout for part #2 on Thursday.
When I lived alone, I had a certain way I did things like washing dishes, doing laundry, taking out the trash & recycling days were down pact, I cleaned, mopped and shopped on Saturdays, tidied each day I came in from work and I cooked very large dinners on Sundays. Little did I know that: 1) all of this would change when I got married and 2) by forcing or even suggesting these habits; my habits onto Kevin was actually me trying to control my new environment.
Oh, I said it was about order and organization, but it was about truly having it done MY way. And when it wasn’t done my way, there was an argument. My stance was always, “The home is my responsibility and this is how I’d like for it to be done.” All of this because I watched, in disdain, how comfortable Kevin was with things just lying around, and although he would eventually get to it; it just wasn’t in my preferred time.
We spent so much time fighting about chores, duties and roles in the beginning of our marriage, if we could calculate that time and it’s value, I’m quite sure we’d regret wasting it on such frivolousness.
As business picked up that meant my hours were longer and my work responsibilities were more urgent. However, I wanted to honor my share of the chores, my role of a wife along with my wifely duties all, while at the same time, trying to capture some semblance of perfection in the home. So, we had to, again define our roles in the home and that required going to the Bible.
Before the Bible, “OUR” definition of roles ALWAYS allowed us to point a finger at the other when they came up short. It put a check in my box and left his blank, it made me the winner and him the loser. This was certainly not our intent but negatively successful nonetheless.
Soon we realized we were legalizing, AGAIN, what God had ordained as spiritual, we were searching /fighting for our “rights” (double entendre) and not righteousness. Fighting for rights in marriage totally goes against God’s intent for unity and 2 becoming 1. James 4:1-4 says, “All war and fighting comes from the corruption of our own hearts.” Let’s not forget that earthly wisdom creates constant warfare in relationships. It ends up becoming fertile ground for the enemy. What Kevin and I failed to realize was that, in a Covenant Marriage, when it comes down to our roles at home it’s about “being” NOT “doing.” We were making everything about tasks; about what was fair or unfair. That’s not marriage, that’s sibling rivalry. Ultimately, I had to ask, “Who was I being in the home for Kevin?” “Was I striving for peace, being gentle, kind, loving and understanding?” Or was I doing it because that’s the only way anything will get done around here?
Ladies, lets not forget that the home is our “place” to care for, 9 to 5 and all. That certainly does not mean that husbands can’t or shouldn’t help. I love, need and desire Kevin’s help around the house simply because I work just as many, sometimes if not, more hours than he does. His help makes me feel loved, appreciated and valued.
Many women, including myself, work full-time hours each and everyday, however my role of wife comes first and employee, employer comes second. Even while working I’m always thinking of ways to make Kevin’s life, as his help meet, better. Ladies, it’s so easy for us to walk into our job’s as assistants, CEO’s CFO’s, financiers, accountants, teachers, researchers etc and seek to make everyone else’s life run smoothly, but we CANNOT forget about our husbands. And please, try as infrequently as possibly to ask him, “What about me?” The moment we do that, either verbally or non-verbally, we’ve just made our marriage about us INDIVIDUALLY and not us as a COUPLE; if we can’t think about our spouses first, in all matters, then maybe assessing our spiritual maturity is necessary.
Women, we’d never think to ask our husbands to come to our jobs and lighten the load there, but we’ll ask them to help lighten the load in the area God has designated as ours. Moreover, a man who truly honors his wife will certainly not expect her to work full-time, both at home and outside of the home. He will help out and lighten her load without her asking when he can.
Jesus didn’t ask God to come and lighten His ministry responsibilities, instead He declared that God’s Will be done and further He asked for more power to continue in the ministry given to Him. Ladies, let’s model after Jesus and ask for more power to take care of our husbands, families and homes.
Monday, February 15, 2010
How is everyone today? I feel compelled to reiterate on Saturday's post concerning Valentine's Day. But before I go on, I'd like to let you all know that Kevin and I went to church yesterday and came home. We didn't do anything special, but it was a special day, because it was filled with love, laughter and time filled with so much quality, it was priceless.
So, onto today's post. Someone asked me yesterday why we don't celebrate Valentine's Day and at first, I didn't want to answer the question - AGAIN. But the question came from someone who is relatively new as a Christian and is truly enjoying his journey. So, after talking about Kevin and my opposing the excessive materalism, cupid and St. Valentine himself, I closed by saying that "love comes from God and not cupid. Who the heck is cupid and why does he have to pierce me with an arrow in order for me to fall in love? When we celebrate something, we inadvertently honor its truth, not THE TRUTH. Unfortunately, many people, even Christians have forgotten that."
God's love is pure, honest, sustaining, victorious and truthful and on any given day it should be celebrated. That's where "Lovers Day" comes from for us. When Kevin and I go through our stuff, it's not cupid who sustaines and mentors us. It's not his WORD that's embedded in our hearts and it's not cupid's Holy Spirit that convicts me when I need reassusrance that God truly loves me. It's always been God's intentional love for Kevin and Me.
As colorful and exciting as the world has made Valentine's Day, unfortunately, it has become, for some people an awful reminder that are alone. A friend of mine emailed me yesterday and said how he hated Valentine's Day because he's not married. That broke my heart and what a dreadful feeling for someone to live with. Equally, I also thought that that's a lot of power to give a day! Understandably, everybody wants somebody to love, but what do you do in the meantime; learn to receive PERFECT love from God in order to give PERFECT love everyday until that person comes along. Just a suggestion.
Even for me, it took a while to realize that Valentine's Day is not a day for love, EVERYDAY proves a perfect opportunity to be a lover to someone; Mom, Dad, spouse, friends, children, nieces, nephews, neighbors and even strangers.
Now that's THE TRUTH; God's TRUTH!!!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
BTW National Marriage Week end tomorrow. We pray that it was a truly blessed time for you married folks. May God continue to be glorified through you and your spouse.
For you single folks, we pray that you witnessed marriage in a way like never before during this past week.
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Last night is a total blur to me ya'll. During the middle of the day, I came down with a bad headache. That's not the norm for me so, I just shut everything down and relaxed. Kevin came in early and ordered some amazing Japanese food. We ate and enjoyed each other's company
Today was another relaxing day for us. It's been a while since we've just had one of these. We spent the day talking about what we'd like to do this summer and how exactly we wanted to prepare now; getting back into the gym, traveling, work related items etc. It's been a truly fulfilling day. It's great to have something to look forward to and work towards.
As far as tomorrow goes, we don't celebrate Valentines Day. Several years ago, we, check this out, took it upon ourselves to change February 14th to "Lover's Day." The nerve of us right? This day, for us, is about not only our love for God and one another, but other's as well.
Collectively, it was difficult for us to take this one day and try to compete with millions of other people and display secular love to one another; a love that was arranged by cupid. Nahhhhh. Can't do that. More importantly, we wanted to really display God's love prominently on this day. Don't get me wrong, we're not saying that other's don't, but we wanted to truly make a day that just expanded on what we feel daily without making it about flowers, candy, teddy bears and all of that "stuff."
So, since I don't blog on Sunday's, I'll tell you that tomorrow is going to be a truly fun day.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Due to the blizzard we had here in NYC yesterday. I spent the day with the wonderful husband just enjoying the day. So, ifyou don't mind, our question of the day will be moved to today.
So, for today, let's discuss Proverbs 27:17, "Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another". The commentary says "We are cautioned to take heed whom we converse with. And directed to have in view, in conversation, to make one another wiser and better".
When you think of your conversations with your spouse, in what ways do you find that you two shapen one another? Do yo set aside specific time to do just this?
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I found this intereting video the other day. I never knew this was done. This was an amazing thing to do directly after his award for the Nobel Peace Prize. Hollywood's first couple interviews one-half of Washington's first couple.
All I can say is, ENJOY!!!!!!!!
Monday, February 8, 2010
Not sure how many of you knew that National Marriage Week began yesterday. For an entire week couples, churches and families are encouraged to celebrate marriage in a way that fosters sustainability, healthy relationships and community.
We are all being asked to seek out creative ways to exemplify covenant marriages so that others will have an accurate viewpoint and perspective of God's unconditional love.
Will you participate????
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Thursday, February 4, 2010
I read a great quote today: "The Effectiveness of a Believer is Directly Proportional to That Believer's Values."
All day, I've been contemplating my effectiveness in my marriage to Kevin and assessing it's value. I wonder how differently or similar they would be if we sat and discussed this. This relationship is so valuable to me and I hope and pray that I have been treating it as such.
I guess he'll tell me.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Today, I heard some married women discussing their "innocent" attraction to select male celebrities. I once heard Rick Warren say, "If you can't, in good conscious, say or do something in your spouses' presence, you shouldn't do it at all."
How would you feel if your spouse thought about and then contemplated on some of the same thoughts you did? Would they be pure thoughts? Would you consider changing your thought life? Would you ever confess some of your thoughts to them?
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
As many of you may know, after about 13 months, we were scheduled to launch yesterday, February 1st. However, God had different plans.
My sister-in-law, who's due to give birth March 5th, gave birth yesterday to a beautiful little boy. Wow, to say the least, we weren't expecting him and our days plans; all of them, were altered.
Too often we plan without God in mind and He counters by ALWAYS showing us that He's truly in control. He's not moved or changed by schedules, doctors or what we believe to be best. He's God Almighty!!!!
So, with that said, prayerfully, we'll launch tomorrow. Pictures of my amazing new nephew will quickly follow as well.
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