Thursday, January 31, 2013

Embracing Your Child's Uniqueness

Embracing your child's uniqueness
Four of the past seven American presidents have been certifiably left-handed. A fifth, Ronald Reagan, was rumored to be ambidextrous. Many people assume this means "the Gipper" was born a lefty, but was forced to switch by schoolteachers—a common practice all over the world until the late 20th century.

And it's not only the presidential election winners who are left-handed. Both candidates in 2008—Barack Obama and John McCain—write with their left hands. In 1992, the left-handed Ross Perot mounted one of the strongest third-party presidential campaigns in American history against his fellow southpaws George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Is this just some fluke? According to economist and co-author of the best-selling book Freakonomics, Steven Levitt, it probably isn't. "Ten to 15 percent of men are left handed, which means, according to my calculations, that this many recent left-handed presidents would only happen by chance one time in 1,000."

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Help! My Husband Is So Unromantic!

My Husband is so unromantic
"I'm a young lady of 25 and I just got married but the problem am facing is that my husband is not romantic. I've tried everything to change him, even calling him in the middle of night to talk to him about how to be romantic but he still hasn't changed, and I love him so, so much and I wish he would just change so our marriage would be just as I have always dreamed because I can't picture a life without romance. I love kissing, cuddling and little surprises but he just does not get it."

First of all define romantic! You wake a man in the middle of the night to chat? Is that your idea of being romantic? Waking a man up to chat when you know he has to work in the morning? What do you want to talk about that cannot wait till the next day? Forget all those things our parents did when we were growing up, this is not the time, save it for emergencies, waking up a sleeping man for something that's not an emergency is never a good idea. . 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Top 10 Things Not to Say to Your Wife - Bethany Brittenham

If you have been in a relationship more than 5 minutes, then I’m sure you’ve experienced this:

"I can’t believe you just said that!”

So, in an attempt to help all you men out there, I thought I would share my personal top ten phrases you may not want to say to your wife:

10. I like my mom’s cooking better.

9. I can only see your mustache in the sunlight.

8. Are you sure that guy was whistling at you?

7. You think that mirror makes your hips look wider? Funny, it doesn’t do that to me.

6. Your head is shaped like a hot dog.

5. You’re not going out looking like that, are you?

4. You’re acting just like your mother.

3. You don’t get an opinion, you haven’t had a real job.

2. I like your fat stomach (or any other part of your body).

1. Do you know why men wouldn’t find you attractive in any other country? You just don’t have wide enough hips to be attractive.

What makes this list funny is the fact that men have actually said these things to the women they love. All of these have reasons behind why it was said, but that doesn’t change the fact that men can say very stupid things sometimes. Women? No, never.

Any relationship will have moments of stupidity in them. You will say something hurtful to the one you love the most. You will offend them. You might even make them cry. But what happens after the comment is said defines what your relationship is made of.

Can you look at these moments and laugh? Or do you go into a rage like the Hulk?

Reactions can change the tone of a relationship. It would have caused conflict if I were to respond to my husband with:

How dare you! You’re fatter than me!” Or “You don’t get to answer, ‘cause you’re an idiot.” (Not that I would ever respond like this. Insert sarcasm)

As a newly married couple, James and I were testing the boundaries of what was okay to say to each other. Some jokes often went too far, and we learned what our “limits” were. We learned a lot within our first couple of years being married to each other. We learned that these ridiculous comments meant no harm. By our reactions to each other (an initial death glare, eye roll, and eventually laughter) James and I built a sense of trust. We learned we could make a mistake and we would still love each other. Even though we would say absurd things to each other, we had a bond and we were in it together no matter what.

When you choose forgiveness, you create a bond that can eventually melt any hurt away. Plus, you will be forever armed with reasons he needs to buy you that 10 year anniversary diamond ring.

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).

Being slow to anger and a sense of humor is key in any relationship. You have to be able to laugh together, and sometimes even at each other. But there comes a time when you need to hold your tongue as well. Words can never be taken back and they can tend to stick to the bones of the hurt. One of the most important lessons a couple can learn is to speak words of life into each other. Find things to compliment each other on. Flirt, be silly, and enjoy each other. Don’t forget to find the humor in your relationship. It will get you through even the hardest of times. And never say anything on that list. Ever.

The Real Life Coach

Couple happy together
A friend of ours was sharing he and his wife's experience with my husband and I. He had a business in Nigeria and his wife had a job in a large oil company here but they felt led to move to the UK. It seemed ridiculous; there has been a recession and with the high level of unemployment in the U.K right now what would the future hold for them? Her superiors at work even told her not to be ashamed to come back if things didn't work out. They just didn't see the reason she would go to the U.,K in the absence of a ready job offer. But within 6 weeks she got a job in a fortune 500 company and her husband is still able to run his business from there. 

Life coaching (or personal coaching) is fairly popular these days. A life coach is someone you hire to help assist you with your personal development, especially in the area of setting and achieving specific goals. Typically this involves paying a certain amount per month to speak with a trained coach by phone for 30-60 minutes per week. Pricing and service offerings vary tremendously. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Hazards of Being Alone

Last week was daunting. My husband had told me, he was to travel on Friday and return on Sunday evening. As Friday night approached, there I was, home alone, at night with my baby. I just couldn't sleep, watched TV and read a bit (which maybe is the unwritten first rule for any situation in life, read yourself into the Place you want to be). I found myself scouring the pages for distractions from the dead silence. Then it hit me again, I was home alone. I tiptoed to my cold lonely bed and then I heard a peculiar sound. Yes! they have come! They know he is not around cos his car is not here! I am finished! Maybe it's a cat, or a wild leprechaun. O.k I'm sure you get the picture, I was scared and lonely.

But this is the reality, many single people fall into this category of home alone and loneliness. Many of them are relatively young; in their 20s, 30s or 40s, they have good jobs, good social skills, and they often have friends and acquaintances. Although Facebook and Twitter encourage us to think of ourselves as part of ‘networks’, the truth is that we've never been more alone. The fact that many people are alone and lonely has not, however, led to a wider discussion of the topic. Virtually everyone experiences loneliness from time to time, with many people becoming especially aware of feelings of loneliness around the holiday seasons or Valentine’s Day. Some of you might even be married and your husband works offshore or has any job that keeps him away, and you haven't started having kids yet, then you'll know all too well what I'm talking about.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Courageous - a must-see film for husbands and fathers

I just finished watching  this film "Courageous" and I would like to recommend it for every man - for the husbands and fathers; and for the men not yet married.

"Courageous" is about four police officers who struggle with their faith and their roles as husbands and fathers when tragedy strikes close to home. Together they make a decision that will change all of their lives.

I would like to share this quote from Adam Mitchell (acted by Alex Kendrick). It summarises the essence of a father in a home.

...I now believe that God desires for EVERY father to courageously step up and do whatever it takes to be involved in the lives of his children. But more than just being there providing for them, he is to walk with them through their young lives and be a visual representation of the character of God, their father in heaven. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Is there a Lance in You? - Lessons from Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong
There has been so much news on Lance Armstrong. When I first saw him on the news I was like who is he? I don't know him? Why is Oprah interviewing him? Doping? Oooooh seen...cheating with performance enhancing drugs? Cyclist? Won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times between 1999 and 2005? For real? So people actually watch those races? *covers face* Why should I be ashamed? Tell the truth, did you know him before now? 

It is easy for us to look at this guy and shake our heads and call him a cheat. This issue has caused a lot of finger pointing, side taking, and vehement arguments, so many people helped him cheat. And finger pointing is always directed to another person, never to ourselves. Before the dust settles and he is out of the news, the question we must ask   is “Is there a Lance in me?” Who are you when the chips are down and you're running out of chips? 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Growing Together

Growing Old together
Picture this, a young man and woman fall in love and get married in a rural village. One way or the other this man furthers his education and gets a job which transfers him to the city. On getting to the city this man begins to have a different crop of friends, more refined tastes, etc. He now seems distant from his wife who is outraged after all she still remembers when he had only two pairs of trousers, when his income could only provide enough money for one piece of meat in each plate of food. Now he seems uninterested in her and insists she learn to grill meat and fish served in their home because it is healthier, he spends on clothing amounts that they used to feed on for ages. His vocabulary has changed he insists they speak only English in front of the kids! He seems to be reborn...He is a new creature.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Why Should I get Married?

Why marry
I was on the phone for a long time with a very good friend who I had not seen for a long time. He expressed his concerns over his current relationship which seemed to have come to an end. His heart was obviously heavy as he expressed his dismay at the thought of starting the search for a "wife" all over again because, in his view, there are hardly any marriageable girls out there. 

His major concern was in the area of sexual abstinence; he is "born-again" but complained of the difficulty in maintaining his status in the face of his sexual urges. I had to ask him "Why do you want to get married? Many people get married for the wrong reasons. Some because they think they are too old to be single; others because of what they fantasize about marriage. Some others (especially women)  think they have to start a family quickly because they believe they have very limited time and are afraid nobody will want them if they get older. Some others because of the man's wealth. 

Some men think because they have achieved economic success, they think the next hurdle in life is to get married; to have wife to add to the other acquisitions. Others might think they need to get married because they have reached the age that society dictates is the right age to marry and some just marry to gain residency in economically advanced countries. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Couple That Serves Together

Couple in Harmony
Whether you are an usher, a teacher in the children's church, a member of the drama team or  you take part in a mega church event, all Christians are called to serve the Lord and His church in some capacity. However, married life, brings with it some extra considerations and complications in discerning how, when and where to serve.

Sometimes a woman is really committed and she longs for her husband to commit to the extent she has but since he is not forthcoming she goes ahead committing herself more and more in different areas of the ministry that take her time and attention. She is in the Ushering department, Women's prayer team, evangelistic outreach team, and in her zeal she is still looking for more things to commit to in order to serve God.

Slow down!  I believe that a mega-measure of God's blessing comes with obedience to God's standards us as wives to honor your husband by giving preference to him (Romans 12:10), to esteem him as better than yourself (Philippians 2:3), and to live peaceably with your husband (Romans 12:18).

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child

Emotionally Intelligent Child
Last month in the article Teaching your children the importance of hard work and responsibility, we talked about the building blocks and blockades necessary to raise our children to become successful adults.

Although it was considered enough to feed, clothe and raise children in our parents' day, this is no longer sufficient because our understanding of what they really need from us has changed. As we know, it’s not the smartest people that are the most successful or the most fulfilled in life.

You probably know people who are academically brilliant and yet are socially inept and unsuccessful at work or in their personal relationships. When it comes to happiness and success in life, emotional intelligence (EQ) matters just as much as intellectual ability (IQ). Emotional intelligence helps you build stronger relationships, succeed at work, and achieve your career and personal goals.

As we all know a person's childhood plays a major role in shaping his/her personality. Developing emotional intelligence in children will help them build a rational thought process with which decisions are made in future. It can save your child a lot of trauma caused by imprudent actions later. Further, emotional intelligence helps the child to understand his/her skills, abilities and capabilities better. It contributes to the child's rapid psychological development in a positive direction. Hardships are a part of life and an emotionally intelligent child is better equipped to deal with them. They will be able to understand themselves as well as others and become sensitive to feelings.

Third Party In Relationships

Third Party in Relationships

The number one rule [in marriage] is that the husband and wife are the center of the home. They are not to allow anyone—not an in-law, friend, or child—to come between the two of them. Their oneness is the seed from which the entire plant of unity blossoms. Therefore, it is likely that they will be the first to come.

All attacks are not overt; some are covert, appearing quite innocent on the surface but very dangerous. These covert attacks may involve attempts by friends and in-laws to influence the decisions that are made in your house for your family. Always inform people who offer advice that you will discuss their ideas with your spouse and then, together, you’ll make a decision. (From the book, “The Master’s Degree” by Frank and Bunny Wilson)

10 Rules for Friendly Fighting for Couples - MARIE HARTWELL-WALKER, ED.D

Friendly fighting for Couples
For some people, this is a truly radical idea: There is no need to fight with your partner. Ever. Accusations, recriminations, character assassination, threats, name-calling, and cursing, whether delivered at top volume or with a quiet sarcastic sneer, damage a relationship, often irrevocably. Nobody needs to be a monster or to be treated monstrously. Nobody who yells will ever be heard. In the heat of a moment, it is always a choice whether to go for a run or run your partner down.

On the other hand, no two people in the world, no matter how made for each other they feel, will ever agree about everything at all times. (It would be quite boring if they did.) Couples do need to be able to negotiate differences. They do need to have room for constructive criticism. They do need a way to assert opinions and to disagree. And they do need to have a way to express intense feelings (that the other person may not understand or support) without feeling that they will be judged as lacking for doing so.

Monday, January 21, 2013

All I Need Is Your Touch

Affectionate Touch
The German emperor Frederick II conducted a horrible experiment to find out what language children would speak if they were raised without hearing anyone talking.

He took several newborns away from their parents and gave them to nurses who were forbidden to touch or talk with them. These babies never learned a language because they all died before they could talk.

In the year 1248, the historian Salimbene wrote of these babies, "They could not live without petting."

A close observation of African culture betrays one thing, we are not very touch centered. Many of us only hug our parents occasionally, maybe after we haven't seen for a long time. And when it comes to other people, it is just totally foreign to us; even some couples who have been married for a while find themselves touching each other less and less. However, in recent times, a new age of parents have cropped up, mothers who are very affectionate, who consistently express their love for their children with hugs and kisses. But really we just don't have that touch culture.

Change Your Family Tree - Dave Ramsey

Money Tree
Add caption
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Our children are always watching us, whether we realize it or not. There is a Native American saying: “Tell me, and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand.” Our children are going to model our handling of money. The most important thing we as parents can do is to straighten up ourselves and show them what we are doing and why we are doing it. Jump Start says that 94 percent of children learn their money management skills from their parents.

We need to teach our children intentionally about money. There are four main areas that our children need to learn.

1. Work
2. Saving
3. Spending Wisely
4. Giving

Each of these categories is handled differently for each age group. Our children need to understand that work is how money is made. There has to be an emotional and intellectual connection between work and money. Because of this I don’t like to use the word “allowance.” Instead, pay “commissions.” Life will not make an “allowance” for you, but it will pay you what you earn. Work, get paid; don’t work, don’t get paid. Work, eat; don’t work, don’t eat. Even the Bible says this.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

What are you doing with what's in your hands?

Tyra Banks
“Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she'll give you a baby.. If you give her a house, she'll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit!”
― Erick S. Gray

The above quote really spoke to me, it means we make things what they want to be. We can multiply the value of what God has given us and we should. God blesses you to become a blessing.

If you are married, your spouse can be soul mate or flat mate, your house can be a home. Whether you're single, a student, a lawyer ...whatever. You have the choice of changing that into something more than just what it is at face value. The best way to do this is to think of how  you can use what is in your hands to bless others. I am not really referring to material things, it could be your experiences, your marriage, your childhood, your career whatever it is that you are knowledgeable about and you feel God has blessed. When he gives you a gift, it's because he trusts you with it. He hopes you turn around and do something powerful with it. If you withhold a blessing, it will be given through others.

Friday, January 18, 2013

5 Tips to Stay Connected - Shannon Roy

Relationship quote
"Do you notice that when we let a few days go by without spending quality time together, walls begin to go up between us?”

During one of our recent heart to heart after a busy week of not seeing each other, my boyfriend asked me that question. Lately, we’ve been learning the importance of quality time and its implications on a relationship.

We’ve discovered that when we go more than a few days without spending purposeful time together, issues become magnified—and walls start to go up between us—because we haven’t spent time to address them right away. Then we have to work harder to tear them down. This has happened a few times and the conversation goes something like this:

“I can tell that you’re thinking about something. What’s going on? Let’s talk about it.” He says. Then I look at him for a little bit and mull over what he just said.

“I don’t know what to say or where to start.” Knowing very well that he’s right. There’s something that has been eating away at me that I know I need to share with him.

Marriages Are Failing Because Of Weak Foundation

Failing Marriage
Throughout my teen years, I worked with my father in the under-ground construction business. My dad’s closest friends, builders respected for their work, were very careful in preparing the ground and laying the foundation.

Granted, the cost to build a strong foundation was expensive, but a weak foundation would cost more. Without proper support, a structure may not be sound and could present future problems. Developers hired architects and engineers; appointed a contractor; paid fees to the county or to the city, as well as to other departments; developed a set of plans, and used heavy equipment to move tons of dirt, all to prepare the foundation. If only we were as careful in preparing for marriage.

In the same way, a relationship with Christ provides the foundation for strong marriages. The foundation built today provides the strength to weather the storm tomorrow. In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus said, “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

Marriage After Baby - Be Prepared

New Born Arrival
Yesterday we talked about keeping wifey happy during pregnancy but after the baby comes, it's a whole new world. It is very easy to just take it for granted that things will just go back to normal; no more shopping for bottles and sippy cups and  clothes from 0-3 months in anticipation of the little one, wifey has healed, the bump is gone, so she can resume her conjugal duties, baby's room is cute and pretty and everyone is happy.

Unfortunately, people spend more time decorating the nursery than preparing the relationship for the arrival of a baby

Numerous studies have shown that a couples' satisfaction with their marriage takes a nose dive after the first child is born. There are lots and lots of couples that have marriage problems after baby. Babies are difficult and they require a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice. All the change, the new schedule, the lack of sleep, the crying, it can wreak havoc on the strongest relationship and the next thing you know, the happiest couple is suddenly dealing with marriage problems after the baby's birth.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Honey, we're having a baby - How To Keep your Pregnant Wife Happy

Coping with Pregnancy
For many men this is fantastic news, despite the obvious reality of more responsibilities the news of a pregnancy is usually a reminder that truly "You are the man". And if you've been waiting a long time you're ecstatic and there is good news for the in-laws, they can start hassling you about other things.

I must warn you the emotions of a pregnant woman are fragile, for the duration of the 9 months she might not exactly be the same sweet, smiley, sexy woman you married; calm down, this too will pass.

Not only is it hard for her emotionally, being pregnant is also physically draining. Do you know how how many calories she burns while lying on the couch?

Some of you will tell me that our grandmothers were going to the farm whilst pregnant and even delivering with a hoe and a machete by the side. I don't know how they did it. But if your wife has not been into farming before, then don't expect her to  act like a farmer now.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Don't go through my phone messages even though we are married.

Couple in conflict
I find it very interesting when I hear a man say that his mobile phone is his property and his wife is not allowed to go through his messages. Equally interesting also is when I hear women say that they do not want to go through their husbands' phones because they do not want to see any incriminating love messages from other women.

It really freaks me out. A man and woman can share a bed, make love but cannot read each other's phone messages.

I have been married for 14 years and for as long as mobile phones came into existence, my wife goes through my phone messages when she is idle. She says that "I have a more interesting life" and we generally joke about whatever she sees on my phone. She even sees the SMS bank alerts on my phone too. This means she basically knows my bank account balances and also sees messages from my friends - male or female. Between us, there is nothing hidden. Why would I want to hide information from the woman I have chosen to live my life with? Why would I want to hide information form the woman that is the mother of my children? To me, it just doesn't make sense.

The Audacity Of Hope....Ooops! No...The Audacity To Forgive.

President Barack Obama
"We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. "-- Martin Luther King Jr.

"Today, when I opened my store at 5a.m., there was an envelope sitting on the floor by the door. In the envelope was $600 and a note that said, “Five years ago, I broke into your store at night and stole $300 worth of food. I’m sorry. I was desperate. Here’s the money with 100% interest.” Interestingly, I never reported the incident to the cops because I assumed that whoever stole the food really needed it."

I'm sure if the above theft had happened to a lot of us, we would certainly call the police and if not, at least curse the living daylights out of the thief if we cannot get justice. It's only natural to be offended when people do things that hurt us. When I was a teenager, during one of my father's various long talks he told me that my capacity to forgive was very special and it would carry me through my life, my marriage etc. At that time I didn't understand but now I understand and I consciously try to strengthen my capacity to forgive and try not to get offended in the first place.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Let's Talk About Sex

"The only sex education I got was from sex movies. My parents never brought it up apart from the story of Joseph. Joseph got the chance to have carnal knowledge of his master's wife, but NAY, he chose not to do such wickedness against God and HIMSELF. God being pleased with him made him a ruler in a strange land."

"She started telling me just a bit when I was 18 (WHEN I ALREADY KNEW THE A to Z OF SEX) ...Like seriously you gotta love African Parents. "

"As for me, they never gave me sex education. However, My Mum kept a sex education book in her room and would ask me to bring another book close to it for her. She knew this would make me read the book since I was the curious type. My Dad believed I knew much already. He would give me a twenty leaf exercise book and tell me to write all I know about HIV/Aids. This was their own way of doing sex education"

Monday, January 14, 2013

Can I Leave My Wife for My High School Sweetheart?

Covenant Relationships' Note:

Pastor Roger Barrier's "Ask Roger" column regularly appears at Preach It, Teach It. Every week at Crosswalk, Dr. Barrier puts nearly 40 years of experience in the pastorate to work answering questions of doctrine or practice for laypeople, or giving advice on church leadership issues. Email him your questions at

Pastor Roger Barrier was asked this question on and I felt we should share it with you, our readers.  What do you think?

Dear Roger,

I am a 47 year old male, married for 18 years, with two teenage daughters. I have a 21 year old son with my ex. I married my wife because she was pregnant. While, I did love her in a way I have stayed with her for our daughters … I do not love my wife now, except for the fact she is the mother to my daughters. She is now claiming to possibly have liver cancer.

I did not see my son for 17 years, but he has suddenly come back into my life….as soon as I saw my son's mother, all the love I have felt since we were both in high school came back. We have been spending some time together for about 6 months now. While we both realize this is wrong, I do not want to ever lose her again…. I have loved her my whole life.

Due to our ages, the Army, time apart we never were able to be together for good and that is the great regret in my life. My question is, is it wrong for me to go after this happiness and leave my wife or should I stay because she is sick? I have told her that I don’t love her. I have been sleeping on the couch for almost a year. We have no common interest. We don’t have any sort of affection together. I know loving someone else isn't the way it is supposed to be, but I can't help how I feel.

Name withheld

This is Pastor Roger Barrier's response after the cut.

Overcoming Fear of Commitment - Rayni Peavy

Two months before walking down the aisle the fear hit. What if I’m making the wrong decision? What if God has someone else for me to marry and I misunderstood? What if I wake up the day after the wedding and think I’ve made a big mistake? Have you ever played the “what if” game? If so, you know it’s a losing battle. Many of us have wrestled with fear of commitment; especially when it comes to a serious life-long commitment like marriage. So, what do we do with that fear?

In order to overcome the fear it’s helpful to get to the root of the issue. There we find that fear is either caused by a legitimate reason that needs to be addressed or it’s something that is simply a “what if” question that cannot be answered and that needs to be released.

Red flag warning.
A red flag weather warning means there is a potential disaster headed your way and you need to pay attention. The same is true in relationships. If you find that your fear of commitment is caused by a legitimate red flag, this is a warning of a potential future crisis that should be taken seriously now. Every red flag needs to be genuinely addressed by both people before marriage, with counseling often being helpful and necessary. What are some legitimate flags? There are many but here are a few:
  • Fear that your fiance will cheat when you’re married because he has cheated while you are dating
  • Fear of serious financial issues because your fiance is in major debt and lacks wise spending habits
  • Fear of major clashes in daily life or while raising children due to your fiance having a different faith

Reason, Season or Lifetime? - Positive Relationships

O.K, so I'm in the supermarket. I hope that she doesn't see me, but she does. It is not that I don’t like her; I just don’t feel like dealing with her negativity today. I have a lot on my mind and cannot deal with what is on hers at this moment. It is like her whole identity is wrapped up in what is wrong with her and her life. I can only listen to it for so long before it begins to drain me...Father, please let my phone ring...

She comes over to greet me and silently I hope that she will have something positive to say—she doesn't.... it’s her boss that is bothering her this time... She is a kind and giving person, but her negativity keeps me from wanting anything other than an acquaintance relationship with her. I just cannot take the constant complaints.

A prayer for the Divorced: Letting Go of Bitterness

You never imagined that as a Christian, you would end up in a divorce. You had plans to live happily ever after.  And every time you remember the wedding day and your marriage vows, the bitterness wells up in you.

You think about the injustice meted out to you and your heart aches with pain. According to Germaine Copeland in the book, Prayers that avail much, "Often the injustice of the situation in which these people find themselves creates deep hurts, wounds in the spirit, and and anger that is so near the surface the individuals involved risk sinking into the trap of bitterness and revenge. Their thoughts may turn inward as they consider the unfairness of the situation and dwell on how badly they have been treated."

Please first note the following:

  1. God still loves you despite the divorce. Focus on His love. Talk through 
  2. Love yourself despite all that has happened. 
  3. Do not wallow in depression. The world may tell you that you have a right to be bitter about the whole experience. Do not give in to this kind of doctrine. Dust yourself and get on
  4. Forgive the other party even if it means that there is no chance of coming back together again. Do not carry any grudge against the other party. You may think I do not understand what you are going through. But I tell you it is not worth it.
  5. Believe that you would love again. You may think that you have been hurt so bad that you will not love again. And that you would not be gullible to love again. I say to you that you have a right to love again. 
  6. There is healing available. There is a way of escape for all who will turn to the Healer, obeying Him and trusting Him

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Love Across Two Time Zones

Over the years, we have seen an increase in the cases of long distance marriages. Long distance marriages have become a lot more common than you may realize, most likely due to the difficult economy we have been facing for the last several years. Jobs have become harder to find, forcing people to look outside of their normal commuting range, and of course the housing crisis has made it difficult, if not impossible. Being in a long distance marriage creates complications and can make a marriage even more challenging.

I used to think that all long-distance relationships were doomed.  I thought the only way a long-distance relationship can amount to anything is for it to become a short-distance relationship. Distance may be fine for relatives and old friends, but when it comes to romantic love—that mysterious chemical reaction that's set off when two people occupy the same physical space- the long-distance relationship is a poor excuse for the real thing.

Faith at Home - Mark Holmen

If we want our children to have a faith that influences the way they live their lives — and the critical life decisions they make — then in our homes we need to be modeling faith through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

I once led a workshop with David Anderson titled "Nurturing Faith of Teenagers." I set the stage for the workshop by helping the parents identify the characteristics of teenagers as well as the issues they commonly face today. Dr. Anderson then took it a step further by asking the parents, "How many of you wish your teenager had a stronger faith?" Every hand in the room went up. He then made a comment that I'll never forget. He said, "While it's good that everyone desires that our teenagers have a stronger faith, the truth is that what we see in our teenagers' faith is a mirror image of our own faith. So, the issue is not their faith, but your faith."

The makeover in your family begins with a makeover in your own heart. If you want your children to have a personal relationship with Christ, you need to have a personal relationship with Christ. If you want God to make over your family, the makeover must begin with you. You need to move from having knowledge about God in your head to establishing a personal relationship with God in your heart. Only then can God affect how you live your life, raise your children and make life decisions. So ask yourself:
  • Are you going to observe life God's way, or are you going to ignore God's way?
  • You have been given the greatest gift you could ever be given: a son or daughter. What are you going to do with this gift?
  • What do you think when you hear that your child's faith will be a mirror image of your faith?
  • What example will you set for your child?
  • How are you going to live your life, and what will your children remember about you?
  • What type of faith would you like your children and grandchildren to have?
Take every chance you can to practice faith-talk with your children — and remember that faith-talk doesn't need to end when they grow up on their own. My dad once said to me, "You never stop being a parent." In the same way, faith-talk is a never-ending dialogue with your children. You can make a lasting impression on your children and the generations of children that follow.

Source: Focus on the Family

Friday, January 11, 2013

Celebrating 7 Days of Marriage. Day 6: Courtney

In case you missed last 5 days quotes, 

Click here for Day 1's quote, 
here for Day 2's quote, 
here for Day 3's quote, 
here for Day 4's quote and 
here for Day 5's quote

Quote 6 is from Courtney who blogs online at She has a lot of useful information, insights about relationships. She has been married for over 14 years and 2 children. 

What do you think about this quote?

When your husband asks you to dress more sexy

Recently a lady who is a member of the Deeper Life Bible Church and married to a "Deeper Life man" had an issue. (Deeper Life Bible Church is known for its very conservative views and strict rules when it comes to female dressing)

Her husband called her and told her that he wanted her to become more Sexy for him, to perm her hair, wear earrings and wear more appealing clothes like knee length skirts and even bum shorts when they are alone at home.

She was confused. So she reached our to fellow sisters, asking "Is it okay to dress like this when your husband asks you to, or would you not do so and risk losing your husband?". She said she was confused. 

I'm sure some of you will be in shock like " Sister! Do you have to be told twice???"

But this is a serious issue and it's not just a question of going shopping for some sexy clothes. I do not believe in extremism. But I believe this lady's husband is seeing things outside which excite him but as a responsible Christian man, he would wish his wife excite him even more so there be no need for this external stimuli. I commend him for that.

One person opined "A Deeper Life Member's dressing should send a 'deeper' message to her husband when at home, not tying wrapper round her bosoms looking like old cargo. No matter how religious you are, you should dress to the taste of your husband. Some ladies have pushed their husbands to the devil through their uninformed attitudes"

Another person said "I would absolutely start to dress more sexy for my husband. If you can't do things to please him, who will you please? Put those booty shorts on and show your husband that you are up to spicing up your marriage."

You can't force people to change for you. Change comes from personal conviction otherwise it is pretence.  That's why you should open your eyes and marry someone who you are compatible with.He married her knowing her choice to be conservative. Why the sudden change? I fear that if this woman starts perming her hair, wearing earrings and bum shorts for her husband, she will become unhappy. She should be doing it mostly for herself. If she is forced to change her identity, no doubt she will become bitter about it. Even if she changes, the change will not last and she will revert back to her true identity.

If you belong to a congregation with very strict rules as to how a woman should dress in public, that is no excuse to lean back with a grandma nightie and a wrapper tied around your chest and bits of dried Cerelac in your hair under the multi-colored hairnet. I think all wives should always wear sexy things underneath. Lace panties and bra, satin or silk camisoles (depending on your budget), It does not have to be a G-sting because they are not comfortable for everyone and are sometimes impractical. That way he knows that under it all you are very sexy or sexual. It is your delicious secret and that is MUCH better than showing off all the goods to everyone, besides, those "goods" are for him, not everyone else around.

That said, women need to know that being married is not only about loyalty and child bearing. Romance is important also. An observation of the book of Songs of Solomon should give us an idea of how amorous love should be expressed. I mean that lady in Chapter 5 was nude, dripping their version of Chanel no.5 and waiting!

I am opposed to the idea that women should be seen as sex objects, women have so much to offer and as mothers, the future of the next generation lies in our hands. If you are dressing in a more provocative manner just to prevent your husband from cheating then I can tell you for free that a man who will cheat, will cheat. A husband who is unsatisfied with what he has, will certainly end up in the street no matter what his wife wears! Single ladies who show off ALL their assets in a bid for attention will attract such men. Your purpose for dressing the way he prefers, should be because of your love for him. If he feels good about how you look, you feel good and everyone is happy.

If your husband married you, I assume he sees you as beautiful already because men are visually stimulated but when I use the term "beauty" I use it loosely because when inner beauty is profound, it has a tangible effect on our vision. Some men see their wives as beautiful and are a bit over the top in trying to show their wives off! That man needs to realize a beautiful woman is always recognized as that...beautiful. A Christian woman should dress in clothes that are modest, compliment her body/features and make her comfortable and confident and she will be as smoking hot as anything.

Ijeoma Olujekun

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Celebrating 7 Days of Marriage. Day 5: William Penn

In case you missed last 4 days quotes, Click here for Day 1's quote, here for Day 2's quote, here for Day 3 and here for Day 4.

Day 5's quote is from William Penn. William Penn (14 October 1644 – 30 July 1718) was an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was an early champion of democracy and religious freedom.

What do you think?

It Takes A Village to Raise a Child- Another Cosmopolitan Parent's Challenge

It takes a village to raise a child. Does the proverb apply to families today? Are we rallying around our struggling parents like they did in the villages of yesterday?

Some might say "Yes", some might say "No". I guess it all depends on your personal experiences. The Igbo culture of Omugo in Nigeria where the mother of a girl leaves her home to stay with her daughter who has recently delivered, is an attempt and a surviving ember of our anthropological need for the experience of another experienced parent in the process of parenting. In the past people co-slept, breastfed much longer, and wore their babies all the time. But the village raised the child. There were grandparents, aunts, neighbors  and older children to share the parenting. In our society, if the mother cannot do it all, all of the time, we look down on her. Or, alternately, if she is willing to leave her baby with someone in order to get a break, we look down on her. Even I got attacked recently for sending my daughter to her grandma so my husband and I could take a short break

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Six Ways to Help a Friend's Struggling Marriage

It's common to know someone whose marriage is in trouble and to be unsure how to help.

Here are 6 practical ways you can help.

1. Pray for them. Ask God to intervene in their marriage. Ask God to give you and others wisdom to know how to help. Pray in their presence as well as when alone. Send emails and note cards of encouragement.

2. Listen. Listening doesn't mean simply hearing. It involves empathizing, seeking to understand and expressing genuine interest.

3. Don't give advice. Your main job is listening. Leave the advice giving to a Pastor, Counselor or Mentor.

Celebrating 7 Days of Marriage. Day 4: Sheila Wray Gregoire

In case you missed last 3 days quotes, Click here for Day 1's quote,  here for Day 2's quote and here for  Day 3.

Day 4's quote is from Sheila Wray Gregoire. 

Sheila Wray Gregoire loves family. She loves her family, including her three children (one in heaven) and her husband; and she loves that God made families as the primary vehicle to show His love. Probably part of this love stems from the fact that growing up, family wasn’t healthy. Her dad left when she was two, and Sheila saw the damage that divorce does, even though her mom was amazing (and still is, as they take missions trips together!) So her passion in this life is to help strengthen families–to equip women to be the best wives and mothers they can be, and especially to cultivate marriages that are rock solid.

Sheila has written four books for women, including To Love, Honor and Vacuum: When you feel more like a maid than a wife and a mother, and she has another coming out with Zondervan soon. She also writes a weekly parenting column, and speaks at women’s events and marriage conferences around North America. Usually, though, you can find her at home, where she homeschools her two daughters. And knits. Preferably simultaneously!

Sheila blogs daily at (To Love, Honor and Vacuum), and you can find her on Twitter ( and on Facebook (

See her quote below.  

Do you think otherwise?

Fasting as a Family

True fasting isn't a mechanical response to God, a merely external religious act. It is done from a heart truly dedicated to God, wanting to press onto Him more to realign our focus on Him.

We should be mindful of others - attending the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of others who may be in need. It is also not a theatrical show, as the hypocrites were accused of in the New Testament.

It isn't done so people will think that we are 'spiritually superior' (Matt. 6: 16-18). That is not the right motive or attitude. We need to have a humble heart, and be aware of our own weaknesses and shortcomings. No one needs to know we are fasting.

5 Successful Marriage Tips When a Spouse is Unemployed - Wanda Collins

Here are 5 successful marriage tips for those who have been affected by the economic down turn. Is this really necessary you ask? When you consider money is among the top three reasons couples divorce today, it really is necessary. Currently, thousands of families across the United States have been negatively impacted by increasing unemployment numbers. Unfortunately, rising unemployment numbers can also translate into an increase in divorce rates. If either you or your spouse is unemployed, here are a few tips to keep your marriage healthy and strong as you make this transition:

1. Keep Things in Prospective - Step back from the situation and realize that although your job was taken away, you still have your life, your family, your health, and your skills. As long as you have all of those things, you are actually quite wealthy compared to some. In fact, looking at it from a different perspective, the loss of your job could actually be seen as an opportunity. An opportunity for what you ask? An opportunity to start that business you've dreamed about for so long; an opportunity to spend more time with your family; perhaps even an opportunity to go back to school and increase your marketability.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Celebrating 7 Days of Marriage. Day 3: Inspirational Quotes

In case you missed last 2 days quotes, Click here for Day 1's quote and here for Day 2's quote

Day 3 is an anonymous inspirational quote but it inspires us to keep the fire burning. Love and Care for your wife should not stop after the wedding when you think the chase is over. It is a lifetime commitment and it has its rewards.

Sometimes, you may not feel like caring but it is not conditional.

Always love and care for your wife. It is blessed.

Avoiding Unnecessary Delays to Marriage - Ted Cunningham

As I observe young people in our church today, it seems that delayed marriage is now the norm rather than the exception. I love interacting with singles to discover the thoughts driving their beliefs on marriage and family. Many of the reasons I hear for delaying marriage are weak.

"I can’t afford to be married.”

I need to get my advanced degree before settling down.”

I need to settle into my career first.”

I need to learn how to be independent before I can ever be successful in marriage.”

Do you think money, education, vocation and independence are legitimate reasons to delay marriage, especially at a young age? I think not. Before you go all Jackie Chan on me, let’s look briefly at each one. Please keep in mind, this is not an exhaustive list. There are many other unnecessary delays to marriage. These are just a few of the most common.

The spreadsheet delay
I love when a guy tells me, “I can’t afford to be married,” while holding a Venti Caramel Macchiato in his right hand and an iPhone in his left. Give me a couple of minutes with your weekly budget and I’ll show you the feasibility of marriage.

The Cosmopolitan Parents Guide To Family Fun!

Recently I met a lady who has been reading my articles and she teased me about always making references to "Monopoly" and "Scrabble" as a way for families to bond *covers face*. O.K I do have a sentimental attachment to the games because we played them a lot when I was younger and they are educational.

But children of today and even parents, with the more cosmopolitan lifestyles we have imbibed are not all about board games and if we are going to have fun that the whole family will enjoy, we have to take a more modern approach!

All work and no play makes jack a dull boy, playing is a great way to learn and bond, while spending time together squabbles might come up and thus is a great time to demonstrate practical conflict resolution.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Is your spouse a bully? - Dr. David Hawkins

I watched in disbelief as Pat, the forty-year old wife of Jeff, her forty-five year old husband, froze amidst the hail of verbal challenges by her pontificating husband. To make matters worse, he seemed oblivious to his behavior, even under our watchful eye during their Marriage Intensive.

Pat looked down as Jeff stared at her, his eyes bulging from his intensity. He continued his incessant criticism, seemingly unaware that he had lost any connection to his wife he may have previously had. Frozen in fear, she no longer talked back, slumping further in his chair. She simply sat stiffly and listened to his tirade—or at least appeared to be listening. I wondered about when I should interject my critical impressions.

“Have you always talked to her like that?” I asked Jeff.

“What do you mean?” he asked, surprised by my question. “I’m not doing anything wrong. I’m asking reasonable questions and making reasonable comments.”

Celebrating 7 Days of Marriage. Day 2: Boy Meets World

In case you missed the quotation for Day 1, click here

The quotation for Day 2 comes from "Boy Meets World".  Boy Meets World is an American television sitcom that chronicles the coming of age events and everyday life-lessons of Cory Matthews, a Philadelphian who grows up from a young boy to a married man. The show aired for seven seasons from 1993 to 2000 on ABC. This quotation is taken from one of the shows.

What do you think?

Delay does not mean denial. You are never too old to find Happiness

2 years ago I attended the wedding of a woman who was 59 years old. This couple were so madly in love and it showed. Her 70 year old husband couldn't bear to have his bride out of his sight.

But it hadn't always been like this, she had dated a young man in her youth whom she even found herself catering for, for several years only for him to finally get a job and an apartment and other fringe benefits. He proposed and they planned the wedding to the point where there were even souvenirs. Unexpectedly, this man turned around one day and said he was no longer interested. She almost went crazy. How could this be happening?

Many years later she had overcome the trauma of her 1st love and embarked on a relationship with another man who she later got pregnant for, at the age of 37. Unbeknownst to her he was married with a family. After this shocking revelation, he urged her to abort the pregnancy. She was totally disgusted by the idea, so she carried the pregnancy to full term and raised the beautiful child alone.

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