Obviously, I’m not a relationship expert. But there’s something about my divorce being finalized this week that gives me perspective of things I wish I would have done different… After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had…
1) NEVER STOP COURTING. Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.
2) PROTECT YOUR OWN HEART. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.
3) FALL IN LOVE OVER and OVER and OVER again. You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.
4) ALWAYS SEE THE BEST in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to be have this woman as your wife.
5) IT’S NOT YOUR JOB TO CHANGE OR FIX HER… your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.
6) TAKE FULL ACCOUNTABILITY for your own emotions: It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.
7) NEVER BLAME your wife If YOU get frustrated or angry at her, it is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. They are YOUR emotions, and your responsibility. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that is asking to be healed. You were attracted to this woman because she was the person best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painful way so that you could heal them… when you heal yourself, you will no longer be triggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were.
Allow your woman to JUST BE. When she’s sad or upset, it’s not your job to fix it, it’s your job to HOLD HER and let her know it’s ok. Let her know that you hear her, and that she’s important and that you are that pillar on which she can always lean. The feminine spirit is about change and emotion and like a storm her emotions will roll in and out, and as you remain strong and unjudging she will trust you and open her soul to you…
8) DON’T RUN-AWAY WHEN SHE’S UPSET. Stand present and strong and let her know you aren’t going anywhere. Listen to what she is really saying behind the words and emotion.
9) BE SILLY… don’t take yourself so seriously. Laugh. And make her laugh. Laughter makes everything else easier.
10) FILL HER SOUL EVERYDAY… learn her love languages and the specific ways that she feels important and validated and CHERISHED. Ask her to create a list of 10 THINGS that make her feel loved and memorize those things and make it a priority everyday to make her feel like a queen.
11) BE PRESENT. Give her not only your time, but your focus, your attention and your soul. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so that when you are with her you are fully WITH HER. Treat her as you would your most valuable client. She is.
12) BE WILLING TO TAKE HER SEXUALLY, to carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul. Let her melt into her feminine softness as she knows she can trust you fully.
13) DON’T BE AN IDIOT… And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You’re not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid.
14) GIVE HER SPACE… The woman is so good at giving and giving, and sometimes she will need to be reminded to take time to nurture herself. Sometimes she will need to fly from your branches to go and find what feeds her soul, and if you give her that space she will come back with new songs to sing…. (okay, getting a little too poetic here, but you get the point. Tell her to take time for herself, ESPECIALLY after you have kids. She needs that space to renew and get re-centered, and to find herself after she gets lost in serving you, the kids and the world.)
15) BE VULNERABLE… you don’t have to have it all together. Be willing to share your fears and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes.
16) BE FULLY TRANSPARENT. If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING… Especially those things you don’t want to share. It takes courage to fully love, to fully open your heart and let her in when you don’t know i she will like what she finds… Part of that courage is allowing her to love you completely, your darkness as well as your light. DROP THE MASK… If you feel like you need to wear a mask around her, and show up perfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what love can be.
17) NEVER STOP GROWING TOGETHER… The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.
18) DON’T WORRY ABOUT MONEY. Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strength to win.
19) FORGIVE IMMEDIATELY and focus on the future rather than carrying weight from the past. Don’t let your history hold you hostage. Holding onto past mistakes that either you or she makes, is like a heavy anchor to your marriage and will hold you back. FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM. Cut the anchor loose and always choose love.
20) ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. In the end, this is the only advice you need. If this is the guiding principle through which all your choices is governed, there is nothing that will threaten the happiness of your marriage. Love will always endure.
In the end MARRIAGE isn’t about Happily ever after. It’s about work. And a commitment to grow together and a willingness to continually invest in creating something that can endure eternity. Through that work, the happiness will come.
Marriage is life, and it will bring ups and downs. Embracing all of the cycles and learning to learn from and love each experience will bring the strength and perspective to keep building, one brick at a time.
These are lessons I learned the hard way. These are lessons I learned too late.
But these are lessons I am learning and committed in carrying forward. Truth is, I LOVED being married, and in time, I will get married again, and when I do, I will build it with a foundation that will endure any storm and any amount of time.
If you are reading this and find wisdom in my pain, share it those those young husbands whose hearts are still full of hope, and with those couples you may know who may have forgotten how to love. One of those men may be like I was, and in these hard earned lessons perhaps something will awaken in him and he will learn to be the man his lady has been waiting for.
The woman that told him ‘I do’, and trusted her life with him, has been waiting for this man to step up.
If you are reading this and your marriage isn’t what you want it to be, take 100% responsibility for YOUR PART in marriage, regardless of where your spouse is at, and commit to applying these lessons while there is time.
MEN- THIS IS YOUR CHARGE : Commit to being an EPIC LOVER. There is no greater challenge, and no greater prize. Your woman deserves that from you.
Be the type of husband your wife can’t help but brag about.
When the Crowd Boos President Harry S. Truman readily took responsibility for his decisions, and he was famous for saying, “The buck stops here.” Though his approval ratings were only 20-30% for much of his presidency, Truman didn’t waver. “I know the public is against me,” he’d say, “but they’ll come around.”
Truman entered the election year of 1948 as a vulnerable incumbent. Yet rather than shying away from thorny issues, he made two bold moves that generated fierce criticism: he backed the creation of the state of Israel and desegregated the military. Despite trailing in nearly every pre-election poll, Truman maintained hope and campaigned tirelessly around the country. On Election Day, newspapers were so certain of the outcome that they published headlines reporting Truman’s defeat. However, when the votes were actually counted, Truman emerged victorious. Historians consider his re-election the greatest upset in the history of the presidency.
The price of leadership is criticism. No one pays much attention to last place finishers, but when you’re in front, everything gets noticed. Since leaders live with criticism it is important to learn to handle it constructively. The following four-step process has helped me, so I wanted to pass it on to you.
1) Know Yourself
“Criticism is something you can avoid easily—by saying nothing, doing nothing and being nothing.”
Over the years, people have tried to help me know myself. They often begin with the phrase, “I’m going to tell you something for your own good.” I’ve discovered that when they tell me something for my own good they never seem to have anything good to tell me! Yet, I have also realized that what I need to hear most is what I want to hear least. From those conversations I have learned much about myself.
• I am impatient.
• I am unrealistic about time and process.
• I don’t like to give a lot of effort to people’s emotional issues.
• I overestimate the ability of others.
• I assume too much.
• I want to delegate too quickly.
2) Change Yourself
Aldous Huxley said, “The truth that makes you free is for the most part, the truth we prefer not to hear.”
Here are the questions I ask to determine whether the criticism was constructive or destructive.
a) Who criticized me?
Criticism from a wise person is more valuable than the flattery of a fool.
b) How was the criticism given?
In my experience, the trustworthiest critics are those who give me the benefit of the doubt, attempting to see from my perspective before passing judgment.
c) Why was the criticism given?
This question helps me discern whether the criticism was given out of personal hurt or with the intention to help me grow.
Regardless of whether the criticism was legitimate or not, I have discovered that my attitude toward words I do not want to hear determines if I grow from criticism or groan beneath it. Therefore, I have determined to:
• Not be defensive when criticized
• Look for the morsel of truth within every criticism
• Make the necessary changes
• Take the high road.
3) Accept Yourself
“Real confidence comes from knowing and accepting yourself—your strengths and limitations—in contrast to depending on affirmation from others.”
~ Judith Bardwick
The opposite of courage isn’t fear; it’s conformity. The most exhausting and frustrating thing in life is to live trying to be someone else. If you worry about what people think of you, it’s because you have more confidence in their opinion than you have in your own.
4) Forget Yourself
“Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves. They shall never cease to be entertained.”
~ Chinese Proverb
While growing up, we spend a good deal of time worrying about what the world thinks of us. By the time we reach 60, we realize the world wasn’t paying much attention. Secure people forget themselves so they can focus on others. This allows them to be secure enough to take criticism and even to serve their critics.
If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. ROMANS 12 : 18
CHOOSE YOUR ROLE WISELY !!
As a carnal being, you have built into your human nature the adverse habit of engaging in the Blame Game.
When things in your life don’t quite go according to plan .. almost without thought, the immediate reaction is to look for a place to lay the blame.
My boss is so unreasonable .. My colleagues don’t accept me .. My partner undermines me .. My children disrespect me .. My family don’t support me .. The devil keeps attacking me .. God is not answering my prayers.
The Blame Game !! .. It is easy .. It is comfortable .. And Of Course .. It removes all the attention off of You !!
While it may be simple enough to point the finger and lay the blame at the feet of others .. Would you think Honestly for a moment about the situations and circumstances in your life .. Are You Contributing To Them ? .. Or .. Could It Be Perhaps That You Are Contaminating Them ?
Self examination is never the easiest thing to do .. But .. In the knowledge that you are moving from glory to glory in Jesus, a little introspection may be just the breakthrough you need !!
Keep In Mind That .. You Can Not Change What You Do Not Acknowledge !!
Your Attitude Will Determine Your Altitude !!
Notice that Romans 12 : 18 says .. “… as far as it depends on you …”
Are you aware of the fact that your attitude has the ability to either enhance or obstruct your relationship with God !!
Hearing From God !! .. It is vital for you to understand that if hearing from God is important to you .. what you need to do is create an atmosphere that is favourable to God’s presence.
Now .. This atmosphere being referred to is your environment .. As Well As .. The predominant mood that surrounds you.
An Atmosphere That Is Created By Your Attitude !!
If you have reached a place in your life where you know that you need to hear from God .. Then .. What you also need to know is that in order for this to happen .. You Need To Create An Atmosphere Of Peace !!
A Peaceful Environment And A Peaceful Mood That Surrounds You !! .. A peace that you are well able to maintain through your attitude of faith in God .. And .. Through your willingness to Forgive people that you may be upset with.
You can sense and feel conflict and strife, as it hangs thick in the atmosphere where it is present.
In the same way, you can sense and feel peace as it enlightens and uplifts the places where people and situations are at peace.
God Leads And Guides By Peace !!
So .. The role of Peace-Maker would be the one that You would be wise to choose !!
If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone .. It is important for You to work at creating .. and .. maintaining a peaceful environment and a peaceful mood with everyone, everywhere you go .. Always !!
The importance for you lies in the fact that You Will Not Hear God In The Midst Of Turmoil And Chaos.
Anger !! .. Bitterness !! .. Conflict !! .. Disagreement !! .. Discord !! .. Unforgiveness !!
An attitude of strife in your life will most certainly Not create an atmosphere in which God can speak.
PEACE !! .. That is the environment, that is the predominant mood that God enters into !! .. God speaks into an atmosphere where your heart and your mind are filled with love and governed by peace !!
There is nothing as precious as experiencing the fullness of God’s presence in your life .. and .. You Can !!
You Can by making the decision to maintain around you and in your heart, an atmosphere that allows you to honour God .. Consistently !!
If you want to hear from God .. Make The Choice .. Today !! .. Lay down and yield every bad attitude to the Lordship of Jesus Christ !! .. and .. As you do this, be confident in the knowledge that you will be creating an atmosphere within yourself where you will sense God’s presence and hear His calming voice !! PEACE-MAKER !!
EVERY TIME YOU TOUCH YOUR BIBLE .. YOU SEE JESUS WRITTEN IN THE FLESH
This week from "Victory in Words":
And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God
I believe and I have faith in God.
1- Legend has it a 9th-century Ethiopian goat herder discovered coffee by accident when he noticed how crazy the beans were making his goats
2- Coffee beans grow on a bush
3- Coffee is the second most traded commodity on earth
4- The name cappuccino comes from the resemblance of the drink to the clothing of the Capuchin monks.
5- Espresso literally means when something is forced out, and it is regulated by the Italian government because it is considered an essential part of their daily life
6- Coffee is a psychoactive and at high doses it can make you see things, or even kill you (The lethal dose of caffeine is roughly 100 cups of coffee)
7- Coffee was the first food to be freeze dried
8- Coffee beans are actually the pit of a berry, which makes them a fruit
9- 40% of the world’s coffee is produced by Colombia and Brazil
10- Kopi Luwak, the world’s most expensive coffee (up to $600 per pound) is made from coffee beans eaten and then excreted by a Sumatran wild cat (Common palm civet), a weasel-like animal.
11- Most coffees are a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans
12- An ibrik is a long handled copper pot for making Turkish coffee
13- Arabica varieties such as Java and Mocha are named after their ports of origin
14- Sixteenth-century Muslim rulers banned coffee because of its unusual stimulating effects
He replied, "I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God."
- You were born into a natural family, but you can also be born in God's family.
- The purpose of life is to discover God and become His child.
- It is better to never have been born than never to have been born again.
- So give your heart and life to Him, you will not regret it.
PRAYER: Lord, forgive me for those things that I have done that have displeased You. I recognize that You are the one true living God and I receive You into my life. Be my Lord and Saviour. Amen.
2 CORINTHIANS 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
The verse tells us that we have “this treasure” in earthen vessels. Who is the treasure? Christ! Who are the earthen vessels here? You and I! Thank God the treasure is in the earthen vessels.
My friend, Christ the treasure is in you. So don’t get frustrated when you see your “earthiness”. You will always be “earthen” as long as you are in your mortal body, but remember that Christ the treasure is in you.
Should you lose your cool with your spouse or children, remember that Christ in you is your patience. When I feel impatient, I don’t pray, “Lord Jesus, give me patience...now!” No, I look to Jesus and I say, “Lord Jesus, I thank You that You are my patience.”
In my younger days and even when I first got married, I had a bad temper. I tried all sorts of anger management techniques, but I never got very far until I told God, “God, I am so frustrated trying to overcome my anger. I give up! I cannot. You can. I rest and depend on You.” Not too long after that, my wife commented, “You know, you have improved in the area of your temper.”
I thought about what she had said and realized that I was not even conscious of the change in me. When family members can see the patience of Christ manifesting through a naturally impatient person, God gets the glory.
Perhaps you are frustrated with your smoking and drinking habits. Or maybe you are discouraged by your feelings of jealousy, distrust, bitterness, depression and defeat. Don’t condemn yourself for being earthen. Don’t try to “cast out” your earthiness. Just realize that you have Christ the treasure in you.
The more you see that treasure in you, the more Christ’s brilliance shines forth in you. And in the midst of your earthiness, God gets the glory as you yourself are transformed from glory to glory! (2 Corinthians 3:18)
If you put a buzzard in a pen that is 6 feet by 8 feet and is entirely open at the top, the bird, in spite of its ability to fly, will be an absolute prisoner.
The reason is that a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a run of 10 to 12 feet. Without space to run, as is its habit, it will not even attempt to fly, but will remain a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top.
The ordinary bat that flies around at night, a remarkable nimble creature in the air, cannot take off from a level place.
If it is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly and, no doubt, painfully, until it reaches some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air.
Then, at once, it takes off like a flash.
A bumblebee, if dropped into an open tumbler, will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out. It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near the bottom. It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself.
In many ways, we are like the buzzard, the bat, and the bumblebee. We struggle about with all our problems and frustrations, never realizing that all we have to do is look up!
That's the answer, the escape route and the solution to any problem....
just look up!
'Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.'
- The future can be both exciting and daunting.
- Fortunately the future only comes one day at a time.
- We can manage each day, as it comes, as God strengthens us.
- Do not have one anxious thought for the future.
PRAYER: Lord, forgive me for allowing fear and anxiety into my heart and life. You hold the future in Your hands and that gives me the confidence I need today. Amen.
Voor my stap n ouerig gryskop man. So elke paar tree buk hy, tel iets op en gooi dit in die see. Dis vroeg oggend die son begin net sy kop uit steek. So ek kan nie sien wat hy optel nie. Ek stap al vinniger nader en so bly hy goed in die water gooi........"Ekskuus tog, vra ek, wat gooi u in dei see?" Ek sien hy kyk verbaas na my. "Dis see sterre," se hy. Verbaas staar ek hom aan, "See sterre?" Vra ek. " Ja as die son opkom gaan hulle almal doodgaan, so ek gooi hulle terug". Ek stap so saam met hom en vra; "maar meneer dis onmoontlik om almal terug tegooi en hulle te probeer red......." Hy stop en tel die een ster op, kyk na my, en gooi dit terug in die see, met n glimlag se hy; " ek weet, maar vir daai een het ek pas n verskil gemaak en sy lewe is gered......" Ek besef toe; ek kan nie almal gelukkig hou in die lewe nie, maar as ek net een persoon in n dag kan gelukkig maak, het ek n verskil gemaak in sy of haar lewe...... As ek net vir een persoon, vir wie ek lief is, gelukkig kan maak, elke dag van my lewe, sal ek die gelukkigste mens in die wereld wees.