Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Love is Enough

Brothers and sisters do not think that you need more than love in your life and within your marriage. Nothing trumps love, nothing on this earth trumps love! People say that it takes more than love to make a marriage work but I respectfully disagree with that vain philosophy. The battle cry of this day is that “Love don’t pay the bills,” and so we place love in a vacuum or a shallow little box. Love has never been the problem in this world and love will never be the problem. Love is perfect but we are imperfect human beings and that is why we fail. You say that love does not pay the bills, I say that true love does pay the bills. A man who loves his family, will get up and work even if it means two or three jobs to take care of his family. He will take his Ph.D and throw it away to dig ditches if it meant the survival of his loved ones. It is his love that puts his family first even at his own expense. Love makes a man wake up everyday of his life to a job that he hates and a boss that he would love to karate chop in the neck, because he wants to provide a better life for his wife and children. Love keeps him from gambling his hard earned money away, love keeps him from smoking his money away, and love keeps him faithful to his wife because he would never want to intentionally disrespect her. Love can’t stop an attractive woman from crossing his path, but love tells him that no matter how fine that woman may be, his heart is at home. Love is the most over used and misunderstood word in the dictionary. Everyone claims to love but very few people know what true love is. What most people have is infatuation and a shallow sense of the word love. We tend to say that we love someone when all things are perfect but true love is something that shows itself when all hell breaks loose. True love has no conditions added to it. It’s not I will love you if you keep your body tight, it’s not I will love you if you keep me driving a Benz, and it’s not I will love you if you do anything for me. Love in it’s truest form is an action and a choice. You don’t do it because you get anything in return, you do it because you want to serve others. If love is kind, it is not kind because others are kind to us. If love is patient, it is not patient because everything is to our liking. If that were the case, there would be no need for patience. If love endures, it is not something that people just throw away and set aside so easily. If love seeks to do for others, it does not worry about what have you done for me lately. You see when everything around you is going to hell, love is what should sustain us. What most of us have is not love and so we think that it is not enough, but true love is enough!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Can You Define Love and Commitment Part I

Can You Define Love and Commitment Part I There are a countless amount of articles and books written about love and commitment and yet the world is still lacking in both departments. People love to talk about these things because they sound like something we all want, however talk is all we do. Honestly we don't want love in the truest sense of the word, we want love in the unrealistic media driven sense. We believe that love is supposed to be this magical feeling that we have that it is supposed to come into our lives and lead us into the sunset on our white horse and when things don't happen that way, we begin to hypothesize that the feeling that we had must not have been love. So I pose the question, are married people breaking their covenants because they never loved each other, or because they lacked the more important attribute of commitment? In trying to figure out the answer to this question, I discovered the many definitions to the word love. If you put ten people in a room together and asked them to define love, odds are you would not get the same definition from them. Maybe that is the underlying problem, we don't truly know what love is and yet we claim to have it. If you ask an Atheist if he believed in love, he would say yes. If you asked a Christian if he believed in love, he would also say yes. However if you asked a Christian if the Atheist truly believed in love, he would probably say no because true love can not be found outside of God. Which leads me to the conclusion that even if the entire world believed in love, many of us don't believe that everyone truly has love. So what is love? Honestly, it depends on which definition you want to use or which criteria best meets your personal agenda. Merriam-Webster defines love in this manner,"A strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties (maternal love for a child). An attraction based on sexual desire. An affection and tenderness felt by lovers. An affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests. An assurance of affection. A warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion. The object of attachment, devotion, or admiration. An Unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another. The fatherly concern of God for humankind. Brotherly concern for others. And last but not least a person's adoration of God." As we see, there is not a shortage of definitions for the word and in a world with billions of people who have definitions of love outside of what the dictionary says, we begin to mixup a perfect cocktail for chaos. How can couples be successful in love when both parties define love in different ways? Can you truly have something and not agree upon the definition? I am no expert on the topic so I just pose the questions, maybe we can have love and define it differently, I just cannot see it in my finite wisdom. I examine the world around me falling apart and I cannot understand how people who believe in love could allow these horrible things to happen to their marriages. So much more can be said about love and yet we have not even touched commitment but then again, how can you be committed to something without first knowing what you are committed to?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


The Oak Tree and Palm Tree, Which One Are You? The Oak tree symbolizes strength and endurance. It has deep roots that anchor the massive tree into the ground. Many countries use the Oak as their national symbol because of the aforementioned attributes. The Palm tree on the other hand symbolizes victory and peace. If you compare the Oak tree and the Palm tree by purely looks alone, the Oak seems to be more impressive however that is where we make our mistake. Men have been taught to be Oak trees. For the most part we are bigger and stronger than women and we typically do not allow our emotions to control our actions. Men have been taught a certain way of thinking that anchors us into the ground and sets roots deep within our souls. As little boys we are taught to be soldiers and even some mothers try to stop their sons from crying at a very early age. Little girls on the other hand are comforted and made to feel secure about their feelings. Men are taught to lead and in order to lead we must exemplify a certain amount of strength. We have been taught that no woman wants a weak man and so we come into relationships with an iron fist. In so many cases a man is told to lead his home, he just is not taught how to lead his home. This is a very important factor when it comes to understanding your husbands. Many of us do not understand that being a husband requires a fair balance of being strong but not totalitarian. In a healthy marriage, a man has to learn to be a Palm tree. Because Palm trees do not look as strong as Oak trees, we as men tend to ignore their attributes. What we don't understand is that the Palm tree has more strength than we give it credit for having. When I was about 14 years old, I went through Hurricane Andrew in Ft. Lauderdale. After the storm had passed we drove around to see the damage caused and much to our surprise the Oak trees were toppled over. Some of these trees landed on people's houses totally destroying them and killing some families along the way. On the other hand, the smaller more delicate looking Palm trees were still standing as if nothing happened. I was shocked to see all of these Palms still standing and I asked my grandmother why the Oaks fell but the Palms didn't. She then explained to me that the Palm bends in the wind and sways back and forth. This keeps them from breaking and toppling over but the Oak tree has no bend and when a strong wind comes, it breaks. Even though I had this conversation 20 years ago, I didn't know the importance of that lesson until recently. I have been an Oak in many ways and not to make excuses but I was taught to be an Oak. Marriage has shown me that I need to be a Palm because without being able to bend, you will surely break. I have to learn to be softer and less rigid in my ideology. I have to learn to go with the flow a little more often. Clearly it will not be easy because I have been pre-conditioned to be an Oak, yet Oaks break and topple over and I don't want that to happen to me and my family. Which one are you going to be?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Adult Version of Happily Ever After

The Adult Version of Happily Ever After What does Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Prince Charming, and the beautiful Princess all have in common? They represent fantasy about love and marriage. From early childhood we are groomed to believe that one day we will find our damsel in distress or our prince charming who will come into our lives so that we can live happily ever after but that is just not reality. When we become adults we put away the story book characters only to embrace the romantic comedy that gives an adult form of happily ever after. This way of thinking is one of the top causes for divorce and unhappiness in marriages. We truly have a skewed view of what marriage entails and what it takes to be happy. I have heard people say that when you truly love someone, things shouldn't be so hard but that is a lie if I ever heard one. Marriages are not easy and no reputable source will ever tell you that it is. Not even the Bible says that marriage is going to be happy go lucky, it's a challenge. Because we have this false view of marriage, when things go wrong, many of us decide to bail. We believe that somehow we got it wrong and that we married the wrong person. While in some cases that may be true, it is not in most cases. Many of us are looking for the perfect spouse and the perfect marriage but that is like trying to find a Unicorn, you hear about it but it really does not exist. No one is perfect and therefore no relationship will be perfect. We all come into marriages with our own personal baggage and when we put them side by side, we realize that it is not always a pretty sight. Married people seem to look at their spouse's bags of mess as if they have no bags themselves. Have you ever seen two married people talk to friends or a counselor about their marriage? Man it is a bunch of you you you statements but very rarely do you hear, I did this and I did that. As Jesus would put it, we are trying to take the mote out of the other person's eye while not paying attention to the beam within our own eye. That is why happily ever after does not exist because we have beams in our own eyes and instead of dealing with these beams, we are try to perform surgery on our spouses. The reality of happily ever after can be obtained, just not in the package that you have been trained to think that it would come in. Every dude that you start to date seems like prince charming at first until you see that he was a frog. Your husband seemed like prince charming at first as well, you wouldn't have married him if you didn't. The same can be said about the princess/damsel in distress. The trials of marriage will sober you up quickly but instead of running to the next supposed prince or princess, work with the one you have. Sometimes the key to happily ever after is already in your hand, you just have to find the way to open it. We are always so busy trying to make our spouse be who we want them to be that we neglect to be who we are supposed to be. We can continue to act like children and fantasize about what happily ever after should look like or we could actually put in the work to make happily ever after a reality. As all counselors say, it starts with you. Start treating your spouse like a prince/princess and see if you get closer to happily ever after, something tells me that in most cases, you will.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


You Need to Change More Than You Think

I have always heard the saying “Men go into marriage expecting their women not to change; women go into marriage expecting that their husbands will”. From the beginning of the marriage, there is already this push and pull. We often walk into marriages with mixed expectations and this makes it harder to become one. Both sides have to realize that they must adjust their perspectives and that there is need for change.

The word change is a very dirty word for most people. Let's face it, when someone thinks you should change, you feel as if they are telling you that something is wrong with you. It's hard not to take things personally because you feel that this is the person that your spouse married and that they should have known that this was who/how you were from the beginning. Honestly, this is where the trouble truly begins and where animosity begins.

Everyone is reluctant to change, especially when someone is requiring it of you. When you change on your own, it obviously does not feel forced. When someone else wants you to change, most people fight it tooth and nail. I guess you can say that this is where pride takes over. When that happens, it's difficult to get through to the other person. Instead of listening to each other, it almost seems as if you begin to try to “one up” the other person.

The problem with most humans is that we know that we are not perfect and yet we act as if we are. Fundamentally we know that we have issues but we don't like it when other people try to tell us. When our friends tell us that we aren't perfect, we laugh it off or we tell them where they can go. When our spouses tell us about our imperfections it’s a slap in the face. We expect for them to live with us, flaws and all.

Change is all around us and to tell you the truth, we change all of the time. Sometimes we change by choice and other times out of necessity. When it comes to changing in marriages, our personal feelings get in the way. That seems to be the thing that makes changing so difficult - being personally invested takes over our rational thinking. Change, however, does not need to be as horrible as we make it.

Honestly, I feel that change comes from within. Once your spouse lets you know that there is an issue, you have to decide to change to accommodate them. All too often we expect our spouses to change right on the spot or when we want them to but that can be dangerous. Change isn't something that happens overnight for most people. Sure, some people can change cold turkey but that is not the norm. Someone who has been a certain way their entire life now has to change - that does not come easily.

I am not going to sit here and act as if I have this change thing down because I do not. Honestly, change is very difficult for me. I am a very analytical person and when I don't feel like something makes sense, it's hard for me to change. The thing about change in marriage is that it is a two way street. All parties must be willing to change in order for things to work. No matter how great you think you are, you will need to change. If you can seriously read this and think that you do not need to change, you probably need to change more than you think!

The Theory of God and the Bible Part II

I saw a speaker recently who talked about forgiveness. She mentioned that if we do not forgive others, our Father in Heaven would not forgive us. This to many is one of the greatest theories in the Bible. We all want to have God forgive us for our messed up ways, but let somebody else cross us and forgiveness becomes a theory quickly. We will hold on to a grudge for as long as possible and yet we act as if we have forever to hold on to them. I have been reading books and articles about Christian marriages and divorces and I realize that people don't truly believe in their vows. When people are getting married they say till death do us part and for better or for worse. Many will say that that marriage is a covenant that cannot be broken but let the marriage start going sour and all of these things become theory. God becomes theory again and His Word becomes a set of well crafted theories. As much as I hate to admit it, God has been a theory to me for a long time. I truly believe that He exists but when I need to truly trust in Him, He becomes academic to me. I realize that I have trouble sleeping and trouble eating when trials and tribulations come upon me. I can tell you all of the Scriptures that say to ask God and believe that He will do for you but for me that is just theory. I don't truly believe it because if I did, I would leave it all to Him. It's crazy how many church going women I know who refuse to submit themselves to their husbands. They find all excuses in the world not to do it and even when presented with the Word, they ignore it. God again has become academic to them. In theory it sounds great but the reality seems to be much different. Instead of thus sayeth the Lord, it becomes well that was before women had jobs or whatever excuses can be made. They say that now preachers don't add submission into vows because today's Christian woman does not like it in there. The point of this writing is not to make Christian folks mad but it is to make some of us realize that we view God and the Word as academic theory. When true reality sets in, we show just how little faith we have in the Lord and His instruction manual for us. We fool ourselves into saying that we are saved and yet we live a life of complete opposition to the very things that God asks of us. Yes it is Grace that saves us and not works, yet the fruit of the Spirit will show in a saved person's actions. Saved people don't doubt God and His Word. Saved people don't live a life in opposition to God and then make excuses for it. Saved people don't see God and the Bible as theory but as a fact that cannot be compromised!

The Theory Of God and the Bible Part I

Evolution is a theory, the Big Bang is a theory, and if I am not mistaken gravity is a theory also. A theory is defined as a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena. The problem with theories is that, they are often believed as if they are fact when in actuality, by definition, they are just highly educated hunches. I would like to add to the pot, my theories of God and of the Bible. Many people will brand me sacrilegious for saying that God and the Bible are just theories and yet they live their lives as if They are just that, theories. I have run into many Christians who believe that man was formed from a single cell organism and through evolution became what we are today. For many of them (Christians) the Bible is just a book written by man with some portion of God leading the way. So instead of Creation, evolution seems to be the popular choice to believe. Christians go to church every weekend and supposedly read the Scriptures all of the time and yet God and His Word are simply just theories to them. If you were to ask a question about their thoughts on God, they would swear up and down that they believe in Him with all of their hearts but it is my theory that many of them believe in theory. God to many is an academic thought but the true reality is not in most of our hearts. It's great to talk about our faith from a superficial point of view but the reality is far different. Have you ever been around Christians before? We are some of the worst people to be around. We lie,steal, cheat, commit adultery, fornication, idolatry, and we hate our brothers and sisters. God knows I have seem people who do not consider themselves as Christians do more for the hungry and poor, than most churches do. Christians who are supposed to mirror the image of God walk around as if we have no fear in Him. God to many is just a theory and the Bible is just a study of theories. It's crazy but today church will be packed with supposed saved people and strip clubs will be packed tonight with the same saved people. Churches will be packed this afternoon and tonight clubs will be packed with the same people falling down drunk and sleeping with whomever they can find. The theory of God and the Bible is that they sound good for a couple of hours on Saturday/Sunday but after church hours are over, so goes those theories. The church is filled with hypocrites and liars who love to talk a good game about belief yet, you see no fruit from their beliefs.