Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Can't Forgive You, or Can I?

Hey Covenant Groupies,

I've been on the set with Kim Fields so I've missed a few opportunites to blog. However, something interesting happened on set today. Check out how the conversation went down:
I was asked, "If you came home and found your spouse in bed with another woman, would you forgive them and/or consider staying married?"

Quickly, I responded, " First of all, it doesn't matter if it's in my bed or a hotel bed, initially I'd want to hurt them both, Yes I would" to both questions. The gentleman looked at me perplexed and said, "I couldn't forgive my wife and the relationship would be over."

Now I know marriage is hard and people even have their levels of tolerance, but it has always struck me funny how people have such a line down the middle mentality and apply it to a relationship as if a indiscresion in marriage has levels and degrees of punishment.

Now, I ask you, who are we to withhold forgiveness from anyone or to refuse them a second chance? Do we not all need forgiveness (for something and aren't we afforded 2nd chances daily?) Obviously God is better at this whole forgivess/2nd chance thing than we are, but doesn't He require us to behave as He would? I'm just sayin'.

Sure infidelity and any level of betrayal is devastating, but to list infidelity as the highest sin in marriage tells me that there may be no real foundation on which this relationship is standing.

There is a distinct difference between sex and the full scope of intimacy (physical, emotional, psychology, physiologically - you name it). Sex can be used to just fill a fleshly desire where as sitting on a computer shareing intimate life challenges and details, with the opposite sex, may be seen as far worse.

However you look at it, it's difficult, scary and taxing on a relationship with our spouse, friends, children, even God when infidelity creeps in.

Let's persevere to keep those pesky temptations out of our most intimate relationships.
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Friday, August 20, 2010

Choose to Celebrate!

Hey Covenant Groupies,

I just ran across something that was shared at one our churches' past couples retreat. What a great reminder that we ahould always seek to celebrate our Covenant.

As couples we should enjoy our marital relationships. Proverbs 5:18 exhorts us to: "Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth."

Rejoice is a verb, a word of action meaning to express ecstatic joy. God is telling us to celebrate!

Celebrating Marriage

C- Clear your conscience - Psalm 139:23-24

E- Encourage spiritual growth - Hebrews 10:24

L- Lower your defenses - Phillipian 2:4-5

E- Enlist in His Service - 2 Timothy 2:1-4

B- Bust up bitterness with forgiveness Hebrews 12:13, Colssians 3:12-13

R- Recreate together Mark 6:31-32

A- Adore God with Praise and Worship Together Psalm 150:1-6

T- Talk transparently Colssians 4:6, 1 Peter 1:15

I- Intimately Relate 1 Corinthians 7:3-5

N- Negotiate as a team Amos 3:3, Philippians 1:27

G- Giving honor to your mate Ephesians 5:22-29

Hope you enjoy!
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Love Times Two; Doesn't Equal ONE

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Yesterday's post has finally been released!!! Here it is.

Please know that, from me, this is a rhetorical question and somewhat dialogue. Today, there was a mini-debate about whether you can be in love with two people at the same time; to the same degree? I know that when we're discussing unconditional love the answer is NO! That's all that matters on this blog.

However, lustful, romantic and conditional love always leaves room for another love to drop on by, take a squat and even compete for what you already thought was love; often, even to the same degree. Certainly, someone is being cheated out of what each of us truly deserves; not only the lover, but the object of that person's love. How awful!

Anytime love is unconditional, nothing can move into that space except any and all things unconditional.

From the mind where conditions reside though, there is a belief that loving two people at the same time is not only possible, but healthy.

Didn't we do stupid things like that when we were children; had an extra person around just in case the first relationship didn't work out? How ridiculous!!!!!

We did that out of fear, insecurity, uncertainty, immaturity, you name it. But now we're adults, why do we still look at love as this dispendable commodity that can be passed from person to person. Don't we lose something when we float from one relationship to another without first examining where we went wrong, how we are at fault for its demise and what needs to be changed in us before we move on?

Love loosely if you want, and you'll find youself by yourself. No one wants to compete for love that they rightfully deserve; and they shouldn't.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Where is Today's Blog????? Stuck in my Blackberry

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Please know that we have a post for today, but it is currently being held hostage by my Blackberry. Yes, I have recently found it much more convenient to blog from my phone; forcing me, of course to depend way too much on it. Although convenient, sometimes Blackberry creates great annoyances in my life; like hold important information hostage.

Please be patient.

Be on the lookout for today's post tonight or early in the morning.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Your Husband: Who Do You Say That He Is?

Hey Covenat Groupies,

Something really life changing happened yesterday: the man that I have been with for 10 years and that I know VERY well, has just gotten another adjective added to his already exhaustive and beautiful description; BRAVE.

At a doctor's appointment yesterday, Kevin and I were discussing a severe injury that he had gotten as a small boy, which has left a scar; some would even venture to call it a shameful imperfection. To some it's still visible to this day, but to others, not so much.

Well, we were discussing how he handled growing up in Texas, Brooklyn and the Bronx, with the insensitivity of kids; being teased, mocked or even called names. After looking far off for a moment and then directly into my eyes, he said, "I was never insecure as a child and never have I ever been as a man. I've always had great friends, never missed a beat with the girls and always had great creative jobs that demonstrated my true gifts" Oh people, people, people you have to know my man to know what I'm saying here.

Kevin has never feigned to protect me; at any cost from anyone. I have always seen his courage manifest itself for me-ALWAYS. But for himself NEVER. He's relaxed and calm and humble and extremely funny. So, when he looked me in my eyes and told me that with confidence and pride along with how my amazing mother-in-law empowered him to not be ashamed and gave him choices as to how he would present this life changing injury to his peers, he took the route of the brave and chose not to hide, but to instead be naked and answered any questions his friends had. Many adults wouldn't have even taken such a route.

Still, I don't know why it brought tears to my eyes, (maybe because I can see my mother-in-law speaking powerful words into his little spirit, or because even though I may have questioned his standing up for himself, I now know that he can and does - in his own way or even as a former school teacher knowing how tough children can make your life, the man that God created me for was busy teaching his friends compassion - maybe that's why his Spiritual Gift is Mercy or maybe it's all of the above) but I do know that when we have our children they will have a brave father who's willing to offer them a freedom and liberty to be brave and courageous and not to hide from anything that anyone would want them to feel shameful about.

Hi, I'm Rhonda and I'm married to an awefully BRAVE man! How about you?

Share a brave story about your spouse.

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Monday, August 9, 2010

When the Warrior Takes a Break

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Recently, while speaking with another impassioned wife about marriage; we specifically began to talk about those moments when the roles become reversed in our relationships.

Oftentimes when the characteristics of manly strength, power decision making and confidence that we love reigning from out husbands then fall heavily on us, we admitted that we felt a certain way about this and them.

We had to admit to ourselves and each other that we don't like it; it's really unappealing to us as women; as wives. Not because women feign power (we actually love it), but because we know deep within the recesses of our men that's how they function best; by being powerful and strong. When their best is defaulted to us we begin to walk that very thin line of operating outside of our true role and we are now taking on both his role and ours.

For me, I believe that can be, both good and dangerous. Good because sometimes the helper has to become the leader, authority and head (within limits, of course). Dangerous because, as Pastor Tony Evans says, When a husband relinquishes his rightful godly role and his wife has to pick it up, trying to get that authority back from her is truly difficult.

As multitaskers, we've found in recent decades that we can do both and do them successfully. But soon we realize that we resent the men that have put us in this dual role of responsibility and other men are treated with disdain too.

But as my friend and I continued our conversation about our husbands (respectfully of course), we quickly realized that, not only was this conversation necessary for us to confess some ungodly feelings about our men to one another and lift them up in prayer, but we were also holding one another accountable in our perspective marriages to pray for and with one another.

As wives, we dared to venture into that water and not see ourselves. Our men work hard and treat us truly well. There are days when that manly warrior is going to need to pull from our woman warrior, just a bit and it's okay. Every warrior needs to take a break and relax a little.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Souls Mated Together - Never to Part

Hey Covenant Groupies,

You know, love is such a soul captivating thing; emotion. As I mentioned yesterday, Kevin and I had a really great weekend. On Sunday, we watched "The Notebook." I had seen it before and he had only seen the beginning. So, we settled in to watching the film.

What I love about watching movies with Kevin is his filmmakers eye sees everything; from each characters perspective. He's never prejudiced against the woman or the villian; he's so open and willing to explore every aspect of the film.
So, needless to say, we enjoyed "The Notebook."

It was the end of the film and his reaction surprised me though. I don't want to ruin the end of the film for those of you who haven't seen the movie, but the longtime lovers actually transition together; in their sleep. Yes, it was beautiful.

As I looked to ask Kevin his thoughts, he was quiet and had a little lump in his throat. After inquiring, he said, that that was how it needed to happen for us; to die together. I had heard him say this in jest before, but this time it was different. He was so sentimental.

We discussed how we could not function without one another on earth; at least we can't humanly imagine it.

I don't believe that God created souls to be interterwined; mated, if you will, as husband and wife and ever, in any way shape or form, had us come together for us to ever see ourselves without one another. How are souls brought together by God ever imagined separated, EVER?

I have no fears in life, none at all, except to live this earthly life without this man I was truly created to be with and vice versa.

Can you ever se yourself without your spouse, EVER?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Modern Day Courting - Singles Let's Raise our Standard

Hey Covenant Groupies,

What is going on with you all? I can't tell you busy my days have been. For some reason, I thought that my Summer months in the office would be just like my Winter Spring months; they ususally are, but not now. I have been overtaken by paperwork, client meetings, article writings, interviews you name it, I'm doing it. I'm so not complaining though. I just miss posting blogs.

So, here we go. Yesterday, Kevin and I heard something strange, yet refreshng. We listened to a Pastor share a story of a couple, not a young couple either, a rather seasoned couple approached him and asked for his permission to date one another.

He went on to informed them that they didn't need his permission, but he did appreciate that they trusted him enough and looked to him as a father figure to even ask. The Pastor said that he did the same thing over 30 years ago with his soon to be girlfriends' father, not his Pastor.

Why don't we do this anymore people? Why don't we trust our elders enough to seek their counsel when courting? Maybe we could save ourselves from so much hearache and trauma tha comes along with bad and untimely relationships. We miss out on their wisdom, experiences, and even certain standards that should be considered when dating.

I certainly didn't grow up in a "traditional" home, but when Kevin asked my Mom for my hand in marriage, I found it quite endearing. My Mom is one of those people that you either respect or you don't. She doesn't demand it, but her beliefs are strong and highly character driven. She kinda makes you want to be on point with manners, whether you're thinking about it or not.

Just like the Pastor wondered of himself, Kevin and I wanted to know exactly what that couple saw in this man and his character that made him worthy of such a life-altering question? We don't know the answer yet, but we concluded that this says a great deal about this man on and off the pulpit