Tag Archives: relationships

Should I make the first move: I don’t even chase my shots, what makes you think I’ll chase after you?

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In the cat and mouse game of boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, and they live happily ever after, we see that the gentleman tends to be the protagonist, it is rarely ever girl meets boy, girl falls in love with boy, and then they live happily ever after. I stress the importance of looking at this traditional model of how a couple comes to be, because it seems that our ladies want to take charge of what should be male dominated and motivated chase for love. If a guy is interested in you, you won’t have to do anything, he will let you know, it is innate in a man to hunt and that characteristic does not only apply to hunting for food, but also with respect to hunting for the woman who will be his life long mate. Ladies, men enjoy the hunt, the chase, the pursuit of their female counterparts, some are even more motivated after having been rejected. The male species accepts the challenge presented to them when their particular love interest does not give into their charming words and suave demeanor so easily, rather it puts them on alert, they feel challenged to step their game up, and this is when they tend to show their best hand. Besides wouldn’t you prefer a man that thinks you are worth it enough to work hard to get your attention? I say if he is not willing to make the effort, then he certainly is not worth my time. God instructs us,”Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.” – Ecclesiastes 9:10. Given those words of wisdom, these men should very well know if they are pursuing a love interest, they should do so excellently (yes that’s a word). So ladies don’t waste your time trying to win the affections of a man who does not even notice you, instead continue to grow into a virtuous woman, complete with all the Godly characteristics which The Lord requires of you so you can be the wife and companion God desires you to be. Remember, the right plan forced to happen at the wrong time, could turn out to be a disaster  re: Abraham and Sarah.

                                                      

Let’s do a case study of some successful unions of long ago:

When it was time for Isaac to marry, he didn’t go, but he sent his servant loaded with fine gifts, silver and gold to present to his wife to be, he sent his servant to proclaim his intentions and explain his family’s background and reputation as servants of God, his servant made it clear  that God had led him to her. Important to note is that Rebekah and her family were impressed by such an elaborate proposal but more so by the fact that this was God-directed more than anything else, so she said yes. Upon their return Isaac greeted her and immediately they were married (Genesis 24)

 

Now let’s look at Jacob and Rachel, this was a man who really loved a woman, you know the song says “When a man loves a woman, he’ll trade the world for the good thing he’s found.” Well Jacob traded 14 years of hard labor to be able to marry Rachel even after her father duped him into marrying her sister. His love for her was so great that fourteen years seemed like days (Genesis 29). What a labor of love! Now that’s a man who showed true determination and effort to win the love of his life. If Jacob could do all of that, why would you…yes I’m talking to you women out there, settle for less??? Stop letting these men who make no effort to impress, pursue, or woo, and who bring nothing to the table, come into your hearts. In the words of Sweet brown “ain’t nobody got time for that!”

 

Last but not least we explore the joining of Ruth and Boaz. Boaz was a kind and thoughtful man, he showed Ruth great kindness as she worked in his fields, he provided her water when she was thirsty, food when she was hungry, and protection as she worked. He even took the time to learn about her and her family’s history. Boaz showed himself to be an honorable man, first talking to the other suitors of Ruth before pursuing her himself, he let them know he was serious, and that he intended to marry her (Ruth1-4). There was nothing shady about Boaz, he kept true to his word, he did not tell Ruth one thing in the dark then profess something contrary to the public; rather he stood by what he said and took care of the woman he thought to be virtuous and worthy of his love.

So ladies, do not undervalue yourselves, you are a child of the king thus you are a princess and should be treated as such. If a gentleman is genuinely interested in you and has good intentions for beginning and maintaining a relationship with you, he knows what he has to do. Do not be fooled, even players know how to treat a woman right, they just choose not to. So bottom line DON’T SETTLE FOR LESS, because we all know anything worth having requires hard work. 

Love Ms. B

Fifty Shades of Gray

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Fifty Shades of Gray—— I think these are the hues through which women see, we blindly enter into dark, uncharacteristic, I must have lost my mind, relationships that have no future, and during the relationship (-is sinking), there is no true depth or profundity, in fact there is a complete lack of quality. The relationship constitutes and reflects an overwhelming color block exhibiting a blur of gray areas that we make excuses for. Loneliness is no excuse to drop your standards so far below the baseline that your virtue electrocardiogram blasts the familiar loud monotonous sound of  one’s values and principles flat-lining. Women  have we lost our self-worth so that we are no longer objective, logical, or sensible for that matter when choosing our mates?  Rather than allowing such a crucial and potentially life changing decision be heavily influenced by a sure, firm foundation of guiding principles, we allow something as transient and capricious as our feelings to be the strongest determining factor in choosing the one with which we would invest large amounts of our time, we instead listen to our deceitful  and untrustworthy hearts as the compass through life’s inevitable season of useless relationships? The word of God warns us that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9.  

So ladies can you really trust your heart?

If we compromise our principles, values, and standards which we have held for the majority of our lives for the sake of someone who comes into our lives for a moment, a minute, a miniscule amount of time relative to how long we’ve lived with ourselves, it begs to ask the question have I really thrown  away who I am for what might be a visitor.  One can liken such behavior to breaking down your home of 10 years, even changing its foundation, to rebuild another one so as to fashion it to the standards and liking of an out of town visitor whom you have known for less time than you have had your home.  Our relationship choices do not only affect us, but it can certainly impact others of whose lives we are a part. Think about the examples we would be setting for  other young ladies and young men looking toward us for guidance? Messages that echo ‘women take what you can get while you can get it’  and “men treat us anyway you like, it won’t make a difference, we will still bow to your every whim just because we rather have a partner than our self-respect’. …well I sure hope after you ladies read this, the buck stops here, because it is a disgrace to see the acts of folly and foolishness we women are willing to tolerate today. When you find yourself altering your behavior and carrying out inconceivable actions as a result of the presence of a new mate to which your friends and family respond negatively and with deep concern, then you must take a step back and really check yourself.

Before one decides to date, they should carefully evaluate the character of the individual; ask some poignant and explicit questions that would remove the layers and reveal the true character. Inquire about his past record, observe his behavior around friends and family or if possible in the work place, observe how he treats you (of course) – does he open the door?- does he walk on the outside of you closest to the traffic?- does he speak to you with courtesy? But most importantly, does he have a relationship with God? E.G White says, “Listen not to the proposals of a man who has no realization of his responsibility to God.”   This is absolutely true, because if the person whom you choose to invite into your life is not led by God, then you just never know what you’re gonna get… “take heed, lest what you now think to be pure gold turns out to be base metal (1). Now ladies and gents that statement right there is overflowing with wisdom, no one ever wants to get a six for a nine, or cubic zirconium rather than a diamond so please avoid the shades of gray and carefully screen before you decide to date. Do not be fooled by a pretty exterior….many red apples look rosy and nice till you bite into the rotten core.

When we date, risk is always involved, but it can be a wonderful process connecting with someone with whom you never knew before, developing a deep and fulfilling friendship by sharing numerous enjoyable experiences with each other, however in the midst of cloud nine, be aware, be vigilant, guard your character, and consider if this individual will allow you to preserve your individuality (1) or will he or she compromise your very character. Avoid the shades of gray because when it comes to your character and dignity there’s only black and white.

Love,

Ms. B

(1) White, E.G. The Adventist Home. Review and Herald Publishing Association. 2001

Finding Nemo

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SCHOOL

“There are plenty other fish in the sea”

I cringed at my best friend’s summation of the matter. I’m so fed up of that stupid saying. He’s my fish! I went to the shop and picked him. He was perfect for me, and then… someone stole him.

I turned to her and sulked. “I don’t like fishing”

“Well hun, we need to fish to eat” She smiled smuggly at what she thought was cleverness.

“That’s easy to say when you’re done fishing…”

My best friend was engaged for 5 months now. Her relationship seemed perfect from the outside. They loved passionately, they fought fairly and they were like-minded in their fundamental beliefs.

“Oh hun, you thought it was easy to find my perfect fish?” Her eyes lit up as she talked about her fiance. “Do you remember Mr. Goes Nowhere, Mr. Buys Nothing, Mr. Trust Issues, Mr. Selfish pants, Mr. Church, Mr. I-am-God’s-Gift-to women and worst of the bunch, Mr. You’re-the-only-one? I’ve had a lot of rotten fish hun, and learnt from every one of them what I shouldn’t stand in a relationship!”

I sigh. “Yeah, I know… but this guy… he’s not a rotten fish. He’s … ” I couldn’t finish. I felt the burning in my cheeks again. I was determined not to cry anymore.

“Well hun, you need to let him go. Let him discover whatever he needs to discover with her. If he’s really your fish, he’ll come back and appreciate you more; And if he doesn’t, well like I said… ”

“Yeah, I know… there are plenty other fish in the sea…”

“Yup! Let go and let God girl! He led me to my perfect fish after all those losers. Who’s to say he doesn’t have one for you?”

Hello again. Here’s more fiction with a tinge of truth! Hope you like it. I tried to make it less morbid than the other two short stories, though people seemed to like those ones LOL!

Have a great day!

Angie

Learning to be lonely

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Lonely tree

I’m at that age where practically everyone seems to be in a relationship, getting married or having babies. It’s hard not to lose sight of the season I’m in. I’m in grad school, I’m female, and I have postponed my life in the quest for a Ph.D. at the end of the day.  From the outside it’s easy to say “Make the sacrifices now, later you can do everything you want” or “Focus on your work, relationships can come after”.

But honestly after 4 years in a pseudo relationship (read: Waiting on someone, in my case someone in a whole different country) I am fed up. Honestly, waiting only works if in the mean time both parties make an effort to keep in contact, to share joys and sorrows and laughs and tears; in my case that scenario was far from the truth. Now that I’m done waiting, I’ve realized there was someone right in front of me that I fell in love with. Unfortunately, that realization came too late, for they have someone else.

Now I’m in a position where I am truly single, something that I have not been for over a decade really. And I am severely out of practice because I’ve realized I don’t know how to keep my own company. I tried to embrace my new-found single-dom by pursuing artsy-fartsy projects. It’s a temporary distraction. And that’s where I am now. I know it’s sad, but I’d appreciate suggestions on how to enjoy my own company.

On another note, I can say I’ve learnt some things from this situation:

  1. Never make your love interest your best friend/confidante. I’m not saying don’t share things with them, but if you break up or are not speaking to each other, then who do you talk to when you need someone?
  2. If you’re unsure of a choice you need to make, flip a coin. While it’s in the air you’ll probably realize where you want it to land.
  3. Ambition is good, but if it costs everything including relationships with people, it will leave you successful but lonely.
  4. Working long hours can easily cut you off from family and friends; make an effort to keep in touch.
  5. If you are heartbroken to the point where you cannot function at work/school, seek professional help ASAP. It is the beginnings of deteriorating mental health (and nothing to be ashamed about).

I know this isn’t my typical type of post. I just had to get things off my chest…

Angie

Update: Check this out… someone who indeed managed to be alone!

Surviving hurt in relationships

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A friend of mine recently found out her fiancé had an affair and decided to call off the wedding. One thing I admired was how strong and faithful she remained. I remember, when one of my exes cheated on me, how much I blamed myself. Ugly thoughts inundated my mind. She’s so slim and beautiful and fun. You’re so blah – boring, unattractive and fat. No wonder he wanted to be with her… Honestly, there were times I wanted to go further than emotional self-hurt. I wanted to physically hurt myself. It was a low point in my life and out of shame, I did not talk to anyone for a long time. Eventually, after many nights of secret tears, I turned to the Word. I wanted the reassurance that no (hu)man should make me feel this way when my perfect God has my back.

Human: “God please protect me”
*Stone hits him*
Human: “Why God, why?”
*Turns around to see Jesus protecting him from a storm of stones*
Jesus: “I’m sorry, did I miss one? Are you alright?”

You are not worthless

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Cor 16:19-20

I had to remind myself that thought I didn’t deserve it, God allowed the death of His Son so that I could have eternal life. No one is worthless to God because this gift is for everyone who will receive it.

God cares for you, the individual you

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. Matt 10:29

There are countless sparrows on the Earth yet God has ensured us that every single one of them is cared for. We are more than sparrows. Not one of us will fall without God knowing. He knows your hurt. He knows your entire history. Sometimes it’s tempting to think God isn”t compassionate about our human problems:

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15

You may not know the answer, but God does.

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ Isaiah 46:10

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

We are not  privy to the knowledge of our future or how the situation will turn out. We don’t know what worse hurt God is saving us when we do hurt. But God assures us that he already knows and he has promised us that his plans are not for us to eternally suffer. This does not mean Christians are promised lives with no suffering. Even the Apostle Paul suffered so that he will not become self-sufficient and forget that God is the source of his strength and wisdom.

… in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 2 Cor 12:7

Sometimes these trials are necessary for the growth of our character. How do we learn if we are never tested. How do we remind ourselves of God’s Word if we are never asked to use it.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

Do not be foolish

A deeper meaning to the following verse was revealed to me:

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”… Psalm 53:1

I always thought this was directed at atheists/agnostics. But this message is for Christians too. When you disobey God, doubt God, curse God, you are essentially proclaiming in your heart that there is no God. Though in your mind you know God exists, you do not proclaim this in your actions when you say or do things that are outside God’s message about us.

Anyway, these are just a sampling of the messages from God helping us to realize that these times will pass, we will heal, we must keep the faith when the going gets rough!

God bless,

Angie

P.S. I’ve touched on different aspects of this topic in God’s trial or my trial? and Confessions Part II

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Have you ever heard the phrase…”Parents just don’t understand”…. I am sure it is fair to say that “Men just don’t understand!” Sometimes I feel as if I am screaming at the top of my voice and no one (especially the one I’m talking to) can hear me. Why is it that men just can’t hear what you’re saying. I mean after all, you call yourself my better half and yet it seems that when I think something – you do not, and when I form this thought into words, you speak a different language. Of course you must be thinking I’m crazy, how can I possibly expect him to know what I’m thinking? Well I don’t, BUT I do expect that we will communicate in such a way that our thinking patterns and understanding of each other’s needs and wants coincide. Unfortunately expectations are funny that way, because while I thought my better half and I would share no language barriers, the harsh reality is when women speak, men hear dogs barking, birds chirping, cats meowing, or donkeys braying…cause they sure don’t hear what you’re trying to tell them. Many of my educated sisters may say “I am at a loss as to what to do because I have tried to dumb it down or intellectually spice it up but it just does not seem to work!” “I could even say it in the three or four different languages I know, but it is no surprise that these attempts to communicate the simplest of things prove futile.” Can you feel the frustration?

Scene: Jane and John sit on the couch, Jane rests her feet on John and says 

“Honey I’m stressed out!” John gently touches the soles of her feet. 

Jane thinks it is the beginning of a wonderful massage, however it stops there. 

Jane is not satisfied and wants more so she gently touches him and says “Can I have a back rub too?” 

He responds with a pat on the back, two strokes of her feet and 

a touch of four of the five toes God blessed her with. 

Jane is left dissatisfied, and stumped as to the disconnect between 

the words that left her mouth and those which entered John’s ear.

 

Lost in translation much?

It seems that in relationships it is truly important that when partners attempt to communicate with each other despite the apparent language barrier, they need to be fully connected to God as were the apostles during the day of Pentecost. When the apostles were preaching to men of different nations who literally spoke languages different from their own, this audience of foreigners was able to understand the apostles perfectly. Through the working of the Holy Spirit, when these apostles who were Galilean spoke, the men in the audience heard these things in their own language (Acts 2:4-12). The apostles through their relationship with Christ received the Holy Spirit who then made their Aramaic/Hebrew words comprehensible to the hearers who spoke Latin, Persian, Arabic and perhaps more. How much more then can the Holy Spirit do for us in our relationships? If we would but commit and consecrate our lives to God and seek to understand His will, what a blessing we would receive when our mouths are opened or our ears are perked. God has the power to give us great depths of understanding and eloquence of verse just as He did for Moses who was fearful to speak before Pharaoh (Exodus 4:10-12).

 

Daily, we rely on our mobile phones as a constant means of communication, but there are times when we call our significant others and misunderstandings result due to dropped calls or poor reception. No fault of yours of course, but your patience wanes and the decision is made to switch phone services. Well people you should leave  AT&T and Verizon, Bmobile and Digicel, and switch to the most reliable communication service there is – ‘Jesus Mobile,’ for there is no service provider more efficient, reliable, and inexpensive as when you dial with or to a Jesus line. Calls are crystal clear, all cell towers function optimally without interruption, dropped calls are non-existent, and an in-service interpreter is always there. When it’s time to communicate with your spouse, significant other, friend, relative, and even your foe, just call on your Jesus mobile because only He can soften the edges of our would be sharp tongues, and improve the acuity of our faulty hearing. Only He can allow us to speak, hear, and listen in love. His is the best intepretation/translation service, whose capabilities surpass Google Translate and Rosetta Stone. He is the only one who can make our relationships stronger via clear, comfortable, communication because He is the one who works on the heart, improves the mind, teaches us love, and cleanses the soul. Listening to, and learning our partners is linked to loving our partners, and the better we love them, the better we can communicate with, and listen to what they say, even when no words escape. 

 

So ladies…. Is it that men  are deaf or they just don’t understand or is it that we simply need to switch our lines of communication?

Here’s an interesting link which describes how we ourselves can become language barriers and how we can improve on this ~ Communicating God’s way ~

Hopefully Clearly Speaking,

Ms. B

Oblivious or Obtuse?

Dealing with death

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One Saturday night last year, I got a call from my sister.

Sis: Hey, do you know where your parents are?
Me: No. I didn’t see them on Skype or anything.
Sis: Okay, I’ll call you back.

I thought nothing of it but ten minutes later my phone rings again.

Sis: Hey, what are you doing?
Me: Nothing much. What’s up?
Sis: Can you sit down?
Me: Ummm okay… what’s wrong?
*Pause*
Sis: There was a bad accident…. and…. he didn’t make it….

This is how I found out my only brother, who had turned 25 just days before, died.

Where do I start? I felt disbelief, shock, grief, out of control. My legs physically buckled… I couldn’t even sit up in the chair. I felt deserted by God for a few seconds. Until, for some reason, all I could keep saying, almost mindlessly, was “Thank God, thank God, thank God…”.

But why was this my response? Unfortunately, many people would blame God, ask why He would allow this, wonder what we did to deserve this punishment.

Well let’s look at Paul’s advice to the Thessalonians:

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ.
1 Thes 4:14.

Paul also advised for us not to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope:

God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 1 Thes 5:18.

It is hard with our limited minds to understand God’s plans but he has promised us a “hope and a future” (Jer 29:11).

Months later, and lucid, I know now what I was thanking God for:

  1. For allowing us to grow up in a Godly home and for giving us the gift of His son; my brother had given his life to Jesus (i.e. become “saved”) at a young age so I was assured of his fate.
  2. For sparing my brother, his wife, and my family from a life as a vegetable. I saw pics of the accident online (regrettably) and heard the autopsy reports; if he had lived, he would have been severely brain damaged.
  3. For granting my brother 30 years filled with true love, amazing travels, a dream job, and unique experiences.
  4. And selfishly, for letting me talk to him one last time on his birthday.

So for those dealing with the death of a loved one, meditate on the above verses and take comfort in knowing that our multi-faceted God is Jehovah Rowi (our shepherd), Jehovah Shalom (our peace) and Jehovah Raffa (our healer). So lay all your grief at His feet, embrace His peace, and let Him heal your pain.

Finally, give thanks for the time you had!

God bless!

Angie

I love him … but he’s not a Christian

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Hi 3G readers!

Marriage Day

I am a firm believer in only dating guys that I can see myself marry. This saves me and them from unenjoyable relationships of convenience, and from investing in something with no long-term future. Further, if you’ve read my Valentine’s day post you will know that I believe a true loving relationship is defined by God, so it begs the question: can we really have a romantic relationship with an unbeliever?

A long time ago I met a guy who I really liked. We were totally compatible: we liked similar things, we were both ambitious, we could agree to disagree without getting defensive or aggressive, I could talk to him about anything, our parents were friends, and we had fun when we hung out. He was perfect… except he was an atheist. The truth is, he is still one of my best friends. But I knew we could never be together romantically unless the Spirit of God moved him.

The Bible says:

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

A lot of people, believers and unbelievers alike, find this text difficult to swallow. I can even understand if one thinks this command sounds almost elitist. The truth is that God is saving us from a lot of pain by instructing us in this way. Relationships are commitments. Commitments ALWAYS involve compromises. Let’s say you and your unbelieving significant other decide to get married. Do you get married in a church or on a beach? Who will perform your ceremony? A priest or a justice of the peace? When you have kids, do you raise them in the Church or not? Do you pray openly before meals or out of respect for your lover, pray silently in your head? These are not trivial questions. As a believer you should strive for all of your life decisions to be in line with the Word. There will be compromises in relationships but are you willing to compromise the Word of God for your husband  or wife?

What about people who have different beliefs? For example, I have always admired the devotion that my Muslim friends have shown to worship. Praying many times a day, fellowship with other Muslims, studying the Koran from very young and truly living their life in line with the tenets of their faith. And even though a lot of their moral beliefs are common to Christianity, the same compromises would be evident in a long-term relationship with them. Can you truly pray together? Which faith would you teach your children? How would you deal with contrasting beliefs? I grew up in a household where I attended two churches because my parents belonged to two different Christian sects. It was difficult as a young person deciphering which “side” to take. And this was a cause of dissension for me as a teenager. When I chose one church over the other, this resulted in a strained relationship with the parent whose religion I chose to forego. I’m definitely not saying I wish my parents never got married – I thank God that they did! I just want to illustrate the problems that can arise from simply disobeying God’s instructions for your life.

Now I must highlight that I DO NOT believe that this text means we cannot be friends with unbelievers. Paul says it best:

Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. (1 Corinthians 9:19)

How else can we expect to spread the Gospel and win souls for Christ if we do not befriend unbelievers! Jesus himself was a friend of corrupt tax-colletors and sinners but Jesus was unwaveringly secure in his mission. God does not forbid friendship with unbelievers BUT he does not leave us without warning:

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

Beware of immoral and obscene friends and friends who encourage you in activities that are unholy, unBiblical and sinful.

Now the acute reader will ask “Why can’t we be in a relationship with someone and just convert them to Christianity before we get married?” Isn’t that a little backwards? The Bible didn’t say “Yoke with unbelievers and then convert them” nor can you yourself “convert” someone. Only the Spirit of God can make someone a Christian (1 Cor 3:6-7). Be honest with yourself. Are you using your “spreading of the Gospel” as justification for being with this person? Further, if your relationship is the only motivation for the conversion, this is not a true conversion. Beware of the person who professes to be Christian just to be in a relationship with you. It’s on you to observe their behaviour over the course of time to see if the words on their lips match the thoughts in their heart.

So to wrap up, God has given us basic advice on who makes an appropriate mate for our own good. Remember God sees the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10) and knows the consequences of our every decision before we make them. He only wants the best for us and counsels us with this in mind.

Let me know in the comments your experiences with dating unbelievers, advice you can add, or any other thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you!

Love,

Angie

What’s the big deal about Love?

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

What a fitting day to discuss true love. When I was a kid, I used to collect those “Love is…” cartoons with the little naked couple by Kim Casali and Bill Asprey. (If you’re feeling nostalgic you can check them out here.)

As a kid, the simplicity and innocence of those cartoons left me with romantic notions of one day living with the man of my dreams and making sweet gestures just like that nameless couple… well not exactly like them… I am pretty sure I would not be prancing about in the nude!

As a grown up, and having experienced love and loss a few times, I know that the elementary tenets that the cartoon provided did not give the complete picture. There are a few things I’ve learnt the hard way, the easy way being I should have paid more attention to what God has clearly outlined for us in His Word. Here’s what I’ve discovered so far:


Before you can love someone else, you must love God.

I cannot begin to stress how important this is. The most important love commitment in your life should be God.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)
To truly love someone, you must have a relationship with God.Let’s delve deeper and play “connect the dots”.
John 14:21 says Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.
Romans 12:2 says Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Together these passages encourage us to obey God and to achieve this we must renew our mind (meaning we must read and study his Word). Finally reading his Word gives us insight on what it means to love others.

love God ••••• obey God ••••• read his Word ••••• learn to love others – dots connected!
 

Before you can love someone else, you must love yourself.

So you’ve probably heard this before. We all remember becoming crying milksops when Tom Cruise delivered that epic line in Jerry Maguire:….You complete me ….The truth is, we should be “complete” before we find a mate despite how romantic Tom/Jerry sounded. You should already be a complete person though hopefully developing into a more Christ-like person. And complete people are people who love themselves. This love is not to be confused with pride, selfishness or greed, all of which the Bible warns us against. Biblical self-love is healthy, understanding that you are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19) and you should feed and care for it (Eph 5:29).The Bible says the second greatest command after loving God is

Love your neighbour as yourself (Lev 19:18; Matt 22:38 NIV).

If you cannot love yourself or do not love yourself as you ought, your neighbour will never be loved as they ought either. As the old ladies like to say “Get your house in order before you invite guests”. (Okay I never actually heard an old lady say this but we can pretend!)

You choose who to love.

Wow that was a hard one for me to swallow the first time I thought about it. I always figured love was something that grew uncontrolled and beautiful based on the happenings within the relationship. And again, based on the happenings, love could shrink and depart just as quickly. However, Moses commanded Israel to

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength 
(Deut 6:5; Matt 22:37 NIV).

With God as the greatest example of a recipient of our love, this implies that we have a choice to love (we being creatures with free will) and further we can choose how much to love. The choices we make and why we make them are definitely fodder for a future post.

It’s not about you.

It is so easy to get wrapped up in how you feel when you are in love. This is so dangerous. If your motivation for loving is feeling good, it’s a perversion of love as defined by the Word. Love considers the recipient most of all. The greatest testament to this is the popular excerpt from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 13:4-7). Most importantly, verse 5 says that love is not self-seeking, but every other characteristic of love in this passage is about the lover’s behaviour towards the “lovee”. Patience, kindness, honour, protection, good will…. these are all about the person being loved.

Biblical love is the recipe for all relationships.

Up to now you’ve probably been thinking about theses teachings in terms of a man and a woman in a romantic relationship. The truth is your significant other is not the only “neighbour” you have. Love as defined by God’s word is applicable to all types of relationships: friends, parents, siblings, co-workers. God encourages love in the entire community.

So friends I’ll leave you with the gorgeous Tom Cruise as a reminder of what love is not about…. yes you may grab that Kleenex again but grab your Bible too and discover the true meaning of love. And let me know what you think in the comments ♥

Love,

Angie ♥

Who is God?

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And Jesus said unto them; but Who do ye say that I am? And Peter answered and said unto Him, Thou art the Christ.      (Mark 8:29)

 

To know who God is, one must have a relationship with Him.

I could spend hours telling you of His wondrous works and of His ability to do the impossible,
I could tell you about His three-in-oneness, his omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence,

But would you believe it was true?

I could tell you He is called Elohim (Deuteronomy 10:17) – God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God
I could tell you He is called El Elyon (Genesis 14:18-20) – The most high God
I could tell you He is called El Shaddai (Genesis 49: 24-25) – God almighty – The All–Sufficient One
I could tell you about Jehovah-Jireh (Genesis 22:14) – The Lord who provides
I could tell you about Jehovah-Rapha (Exodus 15:26) – The Lord who heals
I could tell you of Jehovah–Rohi (Psalm 23:1) – The Lord who is my shepherd
I could tell you of Jehovah–Nissi (Exodus 17:15) – The Lord my banner
I could tell you about Jehovah-Sabaoth (Psalm 46:7) – The Lord of hosts

I could tell you about my creator, my father, my comforter and friend
but in the end, all of it would mean nothing unless you know Him for yourself.

But if you know nothing else about God, know this:
He is a God of Love…

He teaches about love (1 Corinthians 13), and it’s not just lip service. He shows us what love is and how we should love. After all He demonstrated His great love for us, by sending His only son to die a death that He did not deserve. He sent His son to take our place, atoning for the sins of all the world; sins that were not yet committed  by persons who were not yet in existence, but God did it all because He loves us with an unconditional love (John 3:16, Ephesians 2:4-9).

His is a love that is everlasting.

For there is no greater love than God’s love – for God is Love (1 John 4:7, 8)

With God as the captain of our relationSHIPS, the storms of mistrust, unfaithfulness, unrequited love, selfishness, thoughtlessness, and miscommunications will never batter our starboards, and He will sail us safely into the harbor of true love and happiness.

 
 

~♥~

Love is the emblem of eternity; it confounds all notion of time;
effaces all memory of a beginning, all fear of an end.
Germaine De Stael

 

With Love,

Ms. B