Monday, December 17, 2012

Days 22-31 of 70 of the Most Important Things We've Learned Over the Years

Happy Monday Covenant Groupies,

Sorry for the delay. So much has been going on with the holiday season here, but Kevin and I will keep all 70 of these coming for you.

We pray that they have been helpful, eye opening and even fun.

Day 22) Have one bank account!!!!

Day 23) Don't come into marriage with no expectations to change. Living by the phrase, "That's just who I am" will ruin your union. Be prepared to eliminate that from your vocabulary.

Day 24) Be willing to become flexible in all areas of your marriage. The rigid spouse stands strong and alone, while the flexible spouse stands strong with their partner.

Day 25) Learn how to fight without destroying your spouses heart. Allow them to keep their dignity. It won't happen over night, but it will be worth it.

Day 26) Together, learn the difference between sex and intimacy. They are not the same, but both are mandatory to your marital relationship. 

Day 27) It's important to allow your spouse to be who they are. Trying to change them will always hurt your relationship. Let God be the change agent.

Day 28) Always make your spouse the most important person in the room, no matter who's in the room.

Day 29) We are fallen, broken and sinful people. Your spouse will hurt you. 

Day 30) Train yourself to never hold your spouse's limitations against them.

Day31) Our spouse's weaknesses, if not looked at from a Holy perspective, can build contempt in your marriage.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Day 21 of 70 of the Most Important Things We've Learned Over the Years

Day 21) Continue to re-assess the plan you have for your marriage. It's too easy to get off track and become complacent.

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Day 15-20 of 70 of the Most Important Things We've Learned Over the Years

Day 15) Praying for and with your spouse is incredibly-incredibly important and necessary for marital survival! Nothing sustains a husband and wife like the intimacy of prayer.

Day 16) Keep family and friends OUT of your marriage - ALWAYS!

Day17) A Pastor, mature married couple and accountability friends are the best way to go to when you need marital advice, correction and support. We all need godly counsel!


Day 19) Decide early on why you want to be married. Without truly understanding the "why" of marriage, you will enter it with expectations so unrealistic, your marriage will appear to be failing before it even begins. 

Day 20) Create a solid plan for your marriage. We create plans for EVERYTHING we want to last and have a legacy: businesses, children's future, ministries, why not our marriages?

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Friday, November 30, 2012

70 of the Most Important Things We've Learned Over the Years

Day 14) Do not allow your children to take priority over your spouse. Your Covenant is with your spouse, not your children. REMEMBER: A forgotten spouse is hard to reconnect with once the children are gone.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Day 13 of the 70 Most Important Things We've Learned Over the Years

Day 13) Marriage is NOT 50-50!!!

Please don't ever believe that 50% is enough to carry your end of a marriage with all of its complexities and ups and downs. If you can't or find it difficult to give 100% of who you are to your spouse from the beginning, run, don't walk back to pre-marital counseling. BE CLEAR, giving 100% DOES NOT mean that you're perfect, but that your cognizant of your strengths and weaknesses with regards to being a spouse, and will work tirelessly to be for your spouse and marriage all that God has intended you to be. That takes 100% effort, commitment, faith and trust. Giving only 50% will never be able to hold that up!!!

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 12 of the 70 Most Important Things We've Learned Over the Years

Day 12 - Learning to sit on mutual silence has become such a blessing. It communicates so much and proves that words are sometimes overrated.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Day 5 - Day 11 of the 70 Most Important Things We've Learned Over the Years

Hey Groupies,

The holiday had us heavy and a bit lazy, but full of thoughts. Here are days 5-11. 

Hope you enjoy!

Day 5 - Defining your marriage by other marriages will hold you hostage to perfection until and unless you know exactly what they went through to get there.

Day 6 - Keeping unhealthy people out of your marriage - PRICELESS!

Day 7 - Keeping the marriage Holy, that's God's work; keeping you Holy, that's all you as you depend on God

Day 8 - How you actually feel and what you believe about your spouse WILL come out in how you speak to them

Day 9 - Submission is the most beautiful and powerful thing a women can bestow upon her man

Day 10 - Keeping unresolved issues alive in marriage will lead to hurt, bitterness, pain and resentment

Day 11 - To allow work to become or even look like it's more important than your spouse is dangerous

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day 4 of 70 Most Important things We've Learned Over the Years

Day 4 - Become an avid student of your spouse. Invest the time, energy and excitement you would exert when studying for the most important test in your life!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

70 of the Most Important Things We've Learned Over the Years

Day 1 - Once you're married,  life will NEVER be the same.

Day 2 - Learning to live in close proximity with another person can and will be the most difficult thing you learn to do, but the most rewarding.

Day 3 - Listening is the hottest, yet under rated commodity in a relationship. Be willing to become an expert at listening instead of speaking all the time.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

70 Days to 10 Years... Let the Countdown Begin

Happy Friday Covenant Groupies,

Today is truly a special day!!!!! This is the day that set our entire life together in motion.

10 years ago today, November 16, 2002, Kevin and I, an engaged couple, went on a double date with a married couple from church. We didn't know them very well, but they were incredibly warm, kind and loving to us.

It was a night of bowling, fun, fellowship and then dinner. It was at dinner that Kevin was asked a question that changed our lives forever! I'll make it short and to the point.

It's not like we hadn't heard the question before or hadn't discussed the question, hadn't contemplated the question before or even argued over the question before. What made the question different on this night was that we had just had an amazingly huge argument the night before about this very question, I was still angry at Kevin's and God was going to perform a miracle based on that question alone. 

Oh, what was the question? I had asked Kevin when were we getting married? We had discussed it so much and we were VERY clear that we were supposed to get married, however, setting a date was moving slowly. His answer was drawing out, I was frustrated and we had completed pre-marital counseling. I was patient and I didn't want to harass him about it. When I asked on this Friday evening, we were enjoying a beautiful Manhattan drive and I thought it would be a great time to revisit.

When something matters to God it will be brought to light, it will be made known whether privately or publicly. You will either like it or not. It just so happened that when we sat down to dinner, Larry asked Kevin when he was going to make me an honest woman. Kevin just threw out a date, January 21, 2003 is when we were getting married. I asked him if he even knew when that was. Turns out, it was a Tuesday. Kevin responded, "What's the following Saturday?" I said, "January 25th. Kevin said, "Then that's it. That's the day we're getting married. 

That was it. That was how we decided on a date. 

Larry and Carol were definitely used on that night and this is how we started our magnificent journey of Covenant Marriage.

Once we left the restaurant, Kevin and I began to plan our wedding. We actually started to plan and God didn't laugh; instead, He smiled upon us and has been doing so ever since.

Today actually marks the 70 days it took for us to plan our entire wedding from start to finish. Neither one of us had ever planned a wedding and never did we think that we could accomplish everything, but we did - plus more. We were the recipients of so many of God's blessings over those 70 days. He showed us what the benefits of obedience will garner those who love and trust Him.

Each day, for the next 70 days, until our 10 Anniversary, we'll take you on the beautiful journey that was to begin our Covenant marriage. We'll share those incredible blessings, valuable lessons we've learned and what we look forward to in the future.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Marital Intimacy without Conflict...Not Possible!

Good Day Covenant Groupies,

This post is like two weeks behind. We've been so swamped with our Bible project client that posting began to take a back seat; we've committed that this would not start all over again. Remember, the last time that happened, almost two years went by without a post - Not again LOL!!!!

Today's post is below:

Conflict is good! Yes, I am definitive about that statement. Why? Because I've witnessed amazing things happen when people have the opportunity to share their deepest hurts, pains and uncertainties in relationships. Kevin and I are apart of that group of people.

It was neither easy nor comfortable getting there because society and even our parents have taught us that we are to "make nice" with everyone, try to minimize conflict, because it's just not right. However, our Christian faith tells us that conflict is good, healthy and necessary in order to get to a place of truth, transparency and wholeness.

Hubby and I met a gentleman recently who shared with us that he has been married for 20 years. Now you all know 20 years is like amazing to us because we just love marriage and understand the work it takes to stay married 1 year much less 20 years.

During our discussion with the man, what shocked us was the fact that he said that he and his wife have never had a conflict - had never fought and had never argued.

Seriously, how is that possible? Day to day issues arise, spending time, lacking energy, children and a myriad of other issues will peer their ugly heads in marriage. As well, you simply cannot bring two imperfect people together in a marriage, in a union, becoming one and there are no arguments. That's just impossible!

Part of Gods intention for marriage was to bring two imperfect people together - shake things up - to show us who He intends for us to be, both individually and maritally. We are to come together in a broken state and be made one, be made whole as a couple. You can't do that without differences of opinions, arguments, strife etc.

What Kevin and I have learned over the years is that one of the most brilliant paths to intimacy is conflict. No where else can there lie the truth of who we are, how we feel, what hurts us, how much someone truly means to us, plus so much more.

Learning that was very difficult for me, because once again, no one had taught me how to live, love, be sad, unsure, confused or mad in marriage. I was ALWAYS given the impression that marriage was perfect and the two people in the marriage were just as perfect. Those couples that I had seen never appeared to have any imperfections. So, when I sought my own way early on in marriage, you can best believe, it did not fair well with Kevin.

The gentleman that we met really sparked some interesting conversations between Kevin and I about the many conflicts we've faced over the years, how we had to LEARN to fight and disagree in marriage and how incredibly close we are because we didn't run from them.

Couples, let's not run from conflict, instead let's seek to understand how to be in conflict, have our feelings hurt, hurt some feelings, learn to listen, respect and honor our spouse in the moment and so on. We aren't taught how to properly disagree in marriage without, so often, having a win-lose mentality, which forces us to run from what awaits, especially if we feel that we can't win.

Are we really willing to win, so badly, in order that our spouse loses or will we be willing to risk it all lay it on the line and open up some new doors of intimacy?

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Be Willing to Mentor Another Couple

Happy Friday Covenant Groupies,

It's an amazing day this Friday, September 28, 2012 in New York City. I pray that it's great where you are as well.

Got a question for you: You ever notice how anything that seems to matter to us, we do massive amounts of research to better understand what we're about to embark on? Whether a new house, car, vacation, job, you name it, we dig deep. Ultimately, we want that research to support that we're making the best and right decision. However, when it comes to marriage, it's highly evident by divorce stats, that the most research we do surrounds the wedding, not the sustainability of the marriage.  With the total brokenness and shortcomings of two imperfect people, do we really think we could be married and not require the help and support of another, more mature married couple?  Are we seriously that arrogant?

I recently had the opportunity to go to Little Rock Arkansas to the church of Pastor W.R. Norful, father of Grammy award-winning singer and Pastor Smokey Norful. Senior Norful was retiring after 45 years of being a Pastor and we came together to honor and celebrate him and his ministry. That's a very long time to serve others and he had been doing it since the age of 16.

As much as I was enjoying the celebration of his godly service, I was even more excited to learn that He and his wife have been married for 40 years. (SIDE NOTE: Marriage is hard in it of itself, marriage to a Pastor 10x as hard.) I applauded them along with Smokey, family and friends, but that was three weeks ago and they are still on my heart today.

Weighing oh so beautifully are the thoughts of the example they must have been and still are to other married couples, those who's marriage they've offered hope to, many who's marital possibilities they've heightened and how soul to soul, they've chosen to live out the rest of their lives together. Do they even know that they have even mentored me? 

Kevin and I never had a couple to mentor us early on in our marriage,  however we've mentored many since and along the way our mentoring of others has inadvertently served as mentorship to us. It has encouraged us, supported us, matured us, broken us, and  built us back up stronger and more aware than ever before.

We quickly learned that God never intended for us to live out marriage in solitude nor did He desire that we work tirelessly to have perfect marriages. God has always wanted His children to rely on Him, His Son and the Holy Spirit in order for marriage to be exactly what He's ordained it to be - a Covenant relationship that exemplifies Him and His church. Warts and all, marriage is so incredibly beautiful. It even makes us beautiful. 

After hearing all the testimonials of the relationship that Senior Norful and his wife have exemplified over the years I further know that healthy godly marriages are possible. What a great testimonial their marriage is to a watching world. 

It seem to me that in exactly the same way they Jesus left an example for us to follow to be the godly people we're supposed to be, it's only logical that married people are to be examples to engaged and newly married people to be the Covenant married couples that they're supposed to be.

I know it may sound crazy or unimaginable that you could mentor another couple, but you can and we all should. No matter where you are in your marriage right now on this day, you can be sure that there's a couple that you know who needs your help and support. They are going through something that maybe only you as a couple can help them with.

Your relationship does not have to be perfect, nor will it be in order to help other people, however in order to be a support system for other couples you must be willing to be completely transparent. That you must be ready for.

As much as we are and shall remain advocates of premarital counseling, because it's the ONLY way to begin a Covenant marriage, it's not what sustains it. As we move forward in our engaged and marital relationships, we all need another couple to walk alongside us.

Just as Jesus sent the disciples out two-by-two as instruments of support, encouragement, spiritual refreshment, correction and enjoyment, shouldn't we do the same as couples?

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Possible Marriage Saver in 9 Steps by John Piper

Hey Covenant Groupies,

I read an interesting post by Pastor and author John Piper and wanted to share it. Because Kevin has the Spiritual gift of Mercy, this describes exactly how he has taught me to receive and accept his apologies as genuine, heartfelt and true. It was difficult in the beginning, but this has been our saving grace so many times in our marriage. I have often said that Kevin has not only shown me how to accept Mercy as a gift, but also how to apologize. Weird, I know, but I didn't grow up in an environment where apologizing was always first.

Thank God we're never too old to learn!!


The grace of God is patient and works both instantaneously and over time. A mistake we sometimes make is thinking too idealistically, as though if we blow our first apology, there is no chance for a second.

The way to think about this marriage saver biblically is that it is an effort to see Colossians 3:13 fleshed out in real life: “Bear with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgive each other.” There is both “bearing with” and there is “forgiving.” How do they mingle in marriage?

Here’s one way I have in mind. I will describe nine steps to reconciliation with your wife (or husband, or friend, or colleague). Something like this is needed when you are too sinful to apologize sincerely the first time. This is real experience more often than I would like to admit, and, in another sense, not often enough. (Wives and husbands, hear these steps with yourself in both roles.)

Step 1. Your wife points out something you said or did that is wrong or that she doesn’t like.

Step 2. You get angry. (For five or six reasons that seem good to you at the moment).

Step 3. You have the grace to know in your head that this anger is ungodly and that a heartfelt apology, both for what she pointed out and for the anger, is in order.

Step 4. You are able to say the words of apology but not able to feel sorry because the anger has made your heart hard toward her. You don’t feel tender, you don’t feel broken, you don’t feel sorry. But you know you should, so you say, “I’m sorry.” This is better than silence. It is a partial grace.

Step 5. She feels that you are angry and is, understandably, not satisfied with words that do not carry heartfelt contrition.

Step 6. Time goes by. Twenty-four hours? Two days? The Holy Spirit, ever patient, and relentlessly holy, will not let you go. He works against the anger (James 1:19–20). He stirs up gospel truths (Ephesians 4:32). He softens the heart (Ezekiel 36:26). This may be through Bible reading, the word of a friend, reading a book, attending a worship service. Meanwhile she is waiting, wondering, praying, hoping.

Step 7. Anger subsides. Sweetness rises. Tenderness is awakened. Sorrow for sin grows.

Step 8. You take her aside and you tell her that the first apology was the best you could do at the time because of your sin. You admit it was insufficient. You tell her with tenderness how you feel toward her, and you apologize with heart, and ask for forgiveness.

Step 9. In mercy, she forgives and things are better.

What I hope you do with this is talk it over with your spouse to see if it fits your experience. One of the values of building this possible pattern into your set of expectations is that you can cut each other some slack (called mercy), so that step 6 doesn’t feel hopeless for either partner.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Watch Your Mouths...Ladies

Good Morning Covenant Groupies,

This past Wednesday and Thursday evening I served as special guest/relationship expert with an amazing organization called, Girlfriends Pray. The organization founder, Dee Marshall hosts intimate conversations called, Girlfriends Pray Life Camp and created a forum called, "Wifey Material." 

Wifey Material sounds exactly like what it is: an opportunity for married women to become better wives for their husbands and for dating and waiting women to get a great start on what it means to be in a Covenant Marriage. 

I was asked to speak about how Kevin and I have come to have a marriage that looks happy and healthy. Also, to share any challenges that we had faced and how we came out victorious. Over two nights, we discussed everything from leadership, submission, dating, to sex, divorce, reconciliation and so much more.  

What I love most about when people ask me to speak is the fact that God always reminds where He's brought us from and that's such an amazing feeling. From the smallest to the bigger situations, God has been so merciful in our marriage and we do feel blessed.

One of the things I remembered these past few evenings was that at one time, early on in our marriage, I was a mean wife. I was mean because I was insecure, scared and unsure. My meanness was relegated to how I spoke to my husband; it wasn't nice at all. I was condescending, critical, disrespectful, rude and I often emasculated  Kevin with my words.
This behavior served, in part, to us talking divorce several times in our marriage and me living with a very angry man. Angry because he was not receiving the bare minimum - his due respect!

How awful I feel now when I think about all that I put him through. It took me a while to realize that I was taught to treat men this way so I saw absolutely nothing wrong with what I was doing. Admittedly, it was a difficult habit to break, but once I realized my fault I asked for forgiveness and quickly began to work on it. 

What I've learned, not just from this conversation, but from all of the women we talked to over the years, is that this is rampant in many homes; women talking crazy to their husbands. I'm clear that this is hard for us ladies - it's easier to fight our men with words, but we must choose that our husbands will receive our best all the time; our best words, responses and most importantly, respect.

I was so excited to be invited to be apart of this online chat and I am so amazed to say that I was incredibly surprised by how much I enjoyed Dee and the ladies. 

Thanks for helping me to remember who I was and where God has brought me from.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Monogamy is a Myth...Yeah, Some Folks Believe That!

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Kevin and I ran across an old episode of Dr. Phil and the show was about couples who have open relationships. YES, open relationships!! Not really interested in much of what they had to say, since we simply don't agree with the lifestyle, we watched about 10 minutes and moved on. Astonishing how folks living this lifestyle think...hmmmm!

Instead we looked up one of the couples; the couple that was most adamant and argumentative about this lifestyle and found that they've done tons of television and workshops under the guise of showing couples how to live in what they've named "progressive relationships" and are "empowering women," along with offering "how-to" courses for extravagant prices. People are paying though.

But the thing that did it for us was the fact that they're teaching people that monogamy is a myth and extremely unnatural; that to have more than one partner is the only thing that makes sense. Their stance is that your spouse can't possibly fulfill all of your physical, emotional and sexual needs - it's just impossible! It makes the most sense to not impose such expectations on one person. Also, that your spouse has no say-so about your body.

Oh, and did I forget to share that they also don't believe in using protection when they share their bodies with these other folks. As well, their young children and families know about their lifestyle.

Seriously, how many of us really share our sexual life with our children and our families???????

Topping off that bit of ignorance was the fact that they admittedly have never read the Bible. So, there's obviously, in their mind, no source "out there" that commands or demands monogamy for a man and a women in marriage. Sounds to me like they know a little something about the Bible, whether they read it for themselves or not, and simply just refuse to believe it. 

It also sounded to us like they, too, felt something was amidst about this "open relationship" choice and could only use verbiage that sounds like someone has shared the Word with them and that it completely contradicted what they spew, but they'll live their lives the way they choose - regardless.

The wife does most of the talking, no surprise, but the husband says that this lifestyle choice was his suggestion. Really...? He feels that he shows a tremendous amount of authority, security and trust in himself and his wife when he has knowledge that she's with someone else and it doesn't bother him.

It's times like these that I not only question the choices and roles of husband's today, but leadership and whether men have a true grasp of real manhood. Do you truly understand the greatness of a man who can love one woman for life in all of her many complexities? To have a heart totally committed to one woman? To know that one man was made for one woman and vice versa? To forgive? To become one? To caress her fears? To not acquiesce when it come to leadership, authority and proper decision making.

I know that there are some incredibly divine husbands out there and that I'm not a man, but can someone answer a question for me? Why are some husbands finding it so difficult to LEAD and be responsible? I can only imagine how hard leadership is, after all God gave it to you as part of the curse, but don't we have an amazing leader as an example in Jesus? Isn't He the epitome of manhood? Isn't He the ultimate teacher? Why are you not following Him?

So, I guess what we're supposed to believe is that God does not exist and didn't create relationships, monogamy is unnatural, a real husband and his wife can have all of their marital needs met by other people and that this couple has all the answers?! Not buying' it!!!!!

Share your thoughts.

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Does Marriage Have Any Value At All? Really?

Good Morning Groupies,

I don't know about you, but my heart truly aches when I see what marriage has been reduced to over the past few decades... A joke!

Whether it's Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra nine hours, Britney Spears and Jason Alexander 55 days, Chad Johnson and Evelyn Lozado 41 days or Kim Kardashian and Chris Humphries 72 days, too many people minimize the value of marriage. It has come to be seen as an excusable impulse or a business deal that can be jumped in to and out of on a whim or a contract that can just be signed and then terminated.

Gone are the days when people know marriage as the powerful entity that is the glue that holds communities together, that healthy marriages give children a firm sense of identity, that it is a village of trust and support and the one relationship a very large part of your soul's purpose is tied to.

We no longer pay homage to or sit at the feet of the folks in our families who've committed themselves to walk this long and winding road together. Nor the notables like, Bill and Camille Cosby, Ozzie Davis and Ruby Dee, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Denzel and Pauletta Washington, who've also continued to hold one another's hand on this sweet and bitter journey. 

I must say that I grew up as one of those girls that didn't dream of getting married - ever, but to now be a woman who loves marriage so much that a significant part of Kevin and my life is dedicated to people living in healthy,  loving and Covenant marriages, all of this breaks my heart.

Marriage is not for the faint of heart. You need tough skin and the straightest backbone, coupled with God's understanding and design in order to remain in it. Otherwise marriage becomes futile and all of your efforts an exercise in exhaustion, frustration and a feeling of complete failure.

You will be tested in ways unknown to your human emotional stability. You will feel compelled to walk away often. You're never prepared for the fights or arguments, because no ones teaches you how to fight with someone that you're in Covenant with and know that it's ok because the deepest truths about us and our marriages often comes from conflict. 

You'll be challenged to be an example to walk upright, boldly, honestly, transparently and circumspectly, both privately and professionally - no matter who you are.

What's clear is this, when our perspective about something or someone is unclear, we will misuse and devalue it. I truly believe that that's exactly what's happened to marriage. Everything God has created has legacy and Eternal value attached to it, but we don't see marriage that way. I wonder why?

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Last Night's Date Night - Something Different!

Friday, August 17, 2012

I Love You! Sometimes I Hate You Too!

Good Morning Covenant Groupies,

Kevin and I were discussing the very thin line between love and hate. Remember growing up how we all had those moments where we may have hated our parents, siblings, friends, cousins etc. anything from a disappointment, failed expectation, sibling rival, jealousy, to unfair treatment seemed to assist in us crossing that line.

How many if us realize that that same line exists in our marriages? If we're honest with our spouses and ourselves, we'd have to admit that our spouses can be the perfect catalysts to crossing that line to. Often, we don't even tell our spouses about these moments out of fear of jeopardizing the love we depend on so much from them and out of the personal acknowledgement that this is even happening; that we could possibly harbor hatred for the one we live, whether momentary or for an extended period of time.

Why, you ask?

Because no one teaches us that hate truly does exist in marriage. We're supposed to live under the guise of pure happiness all the time - especially in Christian marriages! We're not mentored properly as we embark on marriage and so, many of the things that can possibly destroy marriages are things that if we had  been given a heads up, have solutions as well. Divine and practical solutions. 

When I realized that there were these moments with Kevin and I, it totally messed me up. I couldn't believe that things like his walk to his voice bothered me. And then, because I didn't address them it then became a sustain and a hatred. I had to search my soul to figure out why because I knew that I loved him beyond words, but I needed to weed out this awful feeling and discover where was it coming from.

What I realized was that the majority of these moments existed because I had formed issues, expectations, ideals and perceptions about who Kevin was supposed to be for me and any little deviation from that showed a lack of love, disrespect, taking me for granted, selfishness, you name it. All of these and more will gladly walk you through the door of hatred if and when we're not careful.

As well, I realized that these moments ARE going to happen in marriage and when they do I'll need to ask the Lord which ones I share with Kevin for him to address and work on with me and which ones I just leave alone and work on internally. 

Our spouses should never have to pay for, answer for or be manipulated into fixing or addressing issues especially when they have absolutely nothing to do with them!

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Power of Having Boundaries

Good Day Covenant Groupies,

Kevin and I have just returned from the National Urban League's 2012 Conference. We attended with client Kim Fields, who was being honored but then I was also asked to speak on the panel entitled, "It's a Love Thang." The panel included Dr. Jeff Gardere, Dr. Hilda Hutchinson, Dr. Michelle Callahan, Aulston Taylor and myself. 

The panel went extremely well and even though they had to replace Kevin with one of the panel sponsors, he was right there in the audience. Looking so handsome, of course!!

As panelists, we talked about everything from why marriages aren't lasting, keeping the spark alive, sex, how to speak to your man, celibacy, men being providers - financially-emotionally-physically-psychologically, God and so much more. 

What was interesting after the panel was to hear the craving of folks wanting to understand why, how and for how long do you create and keep boundaries in your relationship. 

Simply, we create boundaries in order to teach people how to treat us. Without boundaries we often compromise any system of belief, morality and values that we have. This quickly leads to a toxic and unhealthy environment with which to grow a healthy flourishing relationship.

Without boundaries we often allow people to take full advantage of our truth and we forget that it's okay to say no,  I'm not comfortable with that, no I will not do that, no I will not allow you to do that to me, no, you cannot speak to me in that way, no, I will not receive that type of love from you, no, I will not allow you to string me along. No, I refuse to allow you to abuse me and misuse me.

To be clear, boundaries are about knowing our value. If we do not know our value we walk into relationships allowing others to determine our value. That simply cannot happen because we do not know how someone values another until we are in a relationship with them. By then it may be too late and they may only expect to treat us the way that they know how to treat us, not the way we'd like to be treated. Then we're accused of trying to change them and knowing what we were getting into from the beginning, which is true. 


Friday, August 3, 2012

Chic Fil-A...Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game. God Makes the Rules!

Good Morning Covenant Coupies, 

We're back! And what a controversial subject to come back on. It's August 3rd and Wednesday was Chic Fil-A day. It was a day in which Chic Fil-A sought to honor Covenant-traditional marriage.

 As this is a Covenant Marriage blog, you know my husband Kevin and I honor traditional marriage as well. Kevin and I have lived our lives having and knowing a colorful group of people. They are of many different races, various backgrounds, financial status, sexual orientation and yet we still love them. Our roles in the entertainment industry always puts us in flavorful company. We don't shun them and they don't shun us. Anyone who knows us knows that we just love people, because God bestows on us the joy, grace and peace of doing so. We can't and should not seek to change anyone, but instead, love them fully.

That said, our Bible is very clear when it speaks of murder, stealing, lying, adultery, deception, hate, cheating and even homosexuality. All are sins; none greater than the other! In Gods eyes they're all the same. We can't justify or minimize what God has already mandated as wrong. We are NOT smarter than God.

Most importantly, as it relates to this post, the Word tells us to love the sinner but hate the sin. 

When did we stop living in a world where we can have differences of opinions? That's not a society that fertilizes freedom of speech. That's a society that shouts, "Believe what I believe, or else!" Are we now seeking to bully others with our viewpoints? Dan Cathy did not issue an ultimatum to the LGBT community, he simply stated in an interview his god-given opinion; he has every right to do so!

True unconditional respect allows for opposing beliefs and opinions; it doesn't equate to homophobia and/or discrimination. 

We've all been given the same playbook and God is the Coach. He sets the rules and we are to play by them, not change them to fit our agenda.

Healthy relationships do not demand that you see things my way; instead it simply and firmly commands that although we may not agree, love and truth will always lead the relationship.