3 Lessons To Teach Your Children Before They Inherit Your Money

According to the bible, we should all strive to have enough saved up for our grandchildren to inherit (Proverbs 13:22). If you have already achieved this goal, congratulations, for you have done something very few in society today have been able to do. Most are struggling to save enough money for retirement talk-less of leaving an inheritance to their children.

Now you need to prepare your children for the inheritance they will receive. Failure to do this may turn what is meant to be a blessing for your children into a curse. Without adequately preparing them, they may squander the family wealth or even worse, they may use the money to destroy themselves.

As you think about how to prepare your children before they inherit your money and assets, consider these words of King Solomon (a man widely regarded as the wisest man to ever live):

Wisdom is good with an inheritance,
And profitable to those who see the sun.
For wisdom is a defense as money is a defense,
But the excellence of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to those who have it.

Here are some life lessons you should share with your children

(1) Be Wise With Your Money: The majority of people who inherit a large sum of money blow it and leave nothing to their children. For those that inherit wealth in the tens of millions of dollars, statistics show that the money is usually gone by the 3rd generation. Why is this? It is because people let money get to their heads and they stop acting wisely. It is important to be wise with money. Those who are wise with their money (by becoming financially knowledgeable) can invest it wisely – to grow it so they can use it for philanthropic purposes and to create business that help create jobs for people so they can hep their families. In this way, the wisdom of those who have money become profitable for people all over.

(2) Do Not Put Money Above God: In his first letter to the Corinthian church, the Apostle Paul writes that Jesus became wisdom for us (1 Corinthians 1:30). Since the Son is God, this means that there is no wisdom without God. By substituting Wisdom for God in the words of King Solomon, we see the words ‘God is good with an inheritance and (God is) profitable to those who see the sun (those who are alive). Why the emphasis on God? It is because money makes a good slave but is a terrible master. When money rules, our world falls apart. But when God rules, our world falls in place. For an inheritance to be profitable to us and others, it must never take the place of God in our heart and life.

(3) Money Will Not Bring You 360 Degree Success In Life: Money is a defense against many troubles that life throws us. Anybody who has a lot of money likely do not have to worry about sustenance or security. The stats also show that having money is a defense against divorce amongst many other things. Bu there is the thing. Wisdom is also a defense. A person who walks in wisdom does not need an inheritance to be wealthy but can build it from the ground up. But the beauty of wisdom is that it is more than a defense against troubles. Wisdom is a source of victory in our lives. Unlike money, wisdom can enrich our lives by bringing love, joy, peace, goodness, faithfulness, courage, boldness, kindness, might, and many other intangibles. Therefore, we must not be like those who have money but are dead inside. We must keep wisdom as the principal thing (Proverbs 4:7)

What steps can you take today to be wiser with your money? 

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Keeping Up False Relationship Appearances

Chris and Shan’ann Watts relationship looked good on the outside. Chris seemed like a great family man who loved his wife. Shan’ann raved about him on Facebook. All good right? Wrong!  It was all smoke screen and mirrors.

We now know that Chris Watts was having an affair. We know the relationship was on the rocks. And we know that Chris Watts murdered Shan’ann.

As is often the case, the neighbors were stunned and saw no red flags…except one. Here is what that neighbor had to say in a People magazine exclusive:

“I think they were always putting on a show,” says Melinda Phillips, who recalls seeing Chris and Shan’ann “clearly having an argument” in their driveway one day earlier this summer.

“Their body language was really angry, and they were just fighting back and forth,” Phillips, 34, says. “He was gesturing his hands and they were shaking their heads, and it was definitely an argument.”

“I didn’t really think much of it, because Lord knows that I’ve had the same arguments with my husband,” she continues. “They caught my eye and suddenly, everything changed. They stopped being so angry, and they started talking a lot more calmly. He even gave her a hug. Mind you, this was in the space of 30 seconds to a minute.”

“From a full-blown fight to hugs in less than a minute, it was incredible,” she says.

Relationships are not always the way they seem to appear. In the case of Chris and Shan’ann, it seems they were keeping up false relationship appearances.

There are many reasons we keep up false appearances: We feel shame. We are embarrassed. We want people to like us. We want people to see us in a certain light (maybe because of out title or position). We don’t want to burden anyone. We don’t want anyone in our “business”.

If we get real, these reasons we give, and many others, come from an inner well of fear, pride, insecurity, or performance mentality. Fear of what people will say. Pride in our own ability to deal with our own issues. Insecurity concerning how we will be perceived if people knew the real us. Having a mentality that our self-worth is measured by how well we perform in life. 

Performance mentality is especially sneaky as we may not know it is there. As long as we are performing, it does not come up. The moment we do not perform the way we think we should is the moment it pops up and rocks our sense of self-worth. To gain back our sense of worth, we either try harder, blame others, or find a substitute that makes us feel like we are worthy again. In the case of relationships, this involves ditching the person we are with and latching onto a new relationship – either physically or emotionally.

If you are in a relationship, learn from Chris and Shan’ann Watts. Do not keep up false appearances. If you do so, all you are doing is stripping people who care about you of the opportunity to love you. You alienate yourself from the help you need. You rob yourself of having real relationships since no one really knows you…so loneliness sets in though you are not alone. And you set yourself a standard which says that living a lie is normal…living a lie is normal to those who are not happy.

For more on the Chris and Shan’ann Watts story, click on the People Magazine Exclusive here: Summer Before Triple Murder  

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Moses’ Relationship Lessons

How I met Zipporah is the stuff of movies.

I was a fugitive on the run, high-tailing it from Egypt! I did not have a choice. I could have stayed to face the executioner’s ax or I could take my chances with the robbers, raiders, serpents and scorpions. I chose the latter. Therefore, I ended up in the desert…hungry, thirsty and half delirious.

I had many thoughts running through my head. Where would my next meal and drink come from? Would anyone show me mercy and take me in? Had I even made the right decision to leave Egypt? I was beginning to reason that an executioner’s ax would have been much swifter than this slow death in the middle of nowhere.

Then I saw it. An oasis in the distance. And this time, it wasn’t a mirage. I saw seven ladies and a few men but I couldn’t make out what was happening. I approached slowly, trying gauge the situation and practicing what I would say. I needed the right words so they would invite me in to rest without asking too many questions.

As fate would have it, I did not need any of those words. Those men were not friends but foe’s. They were raiders. I realized this was my opportunity to make a great impression. I sprung into action and thankfully succeeded in driving them away. I became an instant hero! That act not only won me a stay at the oasis but won over Zipporah’s heart.

Zipporah and I were happy. I went from being a fugitive to having a family. She went from being alone to having a man who could not leave her alone. And then came the day God I met. As I grew closer to God and learned of his purpose for me, Zipporah and I grew further apart. It was not her fault. She did not change, I did.

She did not understand God. To her, we had a good life. We were safe, secure, and had our family close by. She had questions: What type of God would want to take that away from those He loved? What type of God would put those he claimed to love in that path of peril?

She did not know God the way I knew Him. Actually, she did not know God at all. She only knew about Him. So, whereas I was filled with faith and hope, she was filled with fear and doubt.

Rather than focus on introducing her to God, I focused on calming her fears. That was a mistake. No matter how many times her fears went away, they always returned. Still, she reluctantly agreed to go back to Egypt with me. She loved me too much and did not want our family to be separated. Her only condition was that she get to know God first before introducing Him to our children. I agreed! I was certain that everything would change as she got to know God like I did.

To honor our agreement, I did not circumcise our boys as God had instructed me to do. That was another mistake. I almost lost my life as a result.

That whole experience was an eye-opener. First, I learned that God instructs us to keep us from unforeseen danger. Second, I learned that Zipporah really was not sold on God at all. She circumcised the boys to save my life but she was furious that she had to do it all. She was mad at both God and me.

So, though we went to Egypt together, we did not leave Egypt together. She did not like Egypt, did not believe in God, did not believe in what I was doing, and thought I was putting our family in danger for no reason. Therefore, she left with the boys.

It wasn’t until God delivered the slaves out of Egypt under my leadership did she come to believe in me and in God. By that time, our marriage was broken and beyond the point of no return.

Relationship Lessons

  1. You are setting yourself up for failure if you expect you and/or your partner to remain the same (and not change)
  2. The key to maintaining your relationship is making sure you change together
  3. It is not enough that you love each other, it is vital that you share the same vision for your lives. Having two visions leads to division
  4. It is better to be honest and truthful at the start rather than go along with something you know you can’t handle. When you
  5. Make sure you fix major relationship issues before introducing any major life changes.

Meditation

Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? – Amos 3:3

 

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Sarah’s Relationship Lessons

I couldn’t believe it! I wondered what could have happened to my bold and courageous husband.

Just a few months before, Abram stood in front of me declaring that we had to leave our family and friends because God wanted us to go! When I asked ‘Go where’, he said he didn’t know. All he knew was that we had to do it. Though I had my doubts about whether he had really heard from God or had just experienced a rush of blood to the head, I told him I’d go. Why did I do it? I agreed because I loved him, respected him, and wanted to honor his leadership of our family.

Now I wondered if I had made the right decision. The man standing in front of me was no longer bold and assured but looked like a wet puppy dog. He was so afraid for his life that he asked me to lie that I was his sister. Nope…not his fiancé, not even his girlfriend, but his sister!

Though I remained calm on the outside, I was boiling inside! What happened to till death do us part? What happened to commitment? What happened to have faith in God? Fear had replaced faith; cowardice had replaced courage; selfishness had replaced selflessness.

I nearly lost my respect for him that day. And I would have but for then an inner voice spoke to me saying, just because he is making a mistake now does not mean the decision he made was a mistake. At that moment, I realized that the man making this decision was an ugly caricature of the man I knew and loved.

So, I made a conscious decision to respect him despite having zero respect for the decision he made. I chose not to evaluate our relationship solely on what he did wrong.

Over the years, the question I get asked the most is why I agreed to his request to say I was his sister. Here are the reasons: First, I thought that he would come to his senses sooner rather than later and declare to everyone that I was his wife. Second, I knew that God told him he would be a father. Therefore, I knew God had plans for us that were bigger that this temporary setback. I knew that God would not allow anyone else to take me away from him!

It was the second reason that really gave me courage. Though Abram had failed me, I knew God never goes back on his world. Indeed, if Abram was faithless, God would remain faithful!

Looking back, I am so grateful God is so reliable. Adam did not come to his senses but asked me to lie about being his sister a second time! If not for God’s protection, our marriage would have been over!

But let me be fair! Abram is not the only one that made mistakes in our marriage. After many years of waiting for the child that God promised, I became fearful that it would not happen. So, I started to second guess what I knew. I said to myself, ‘when God said Abram would have a child, perhaps God did not mean Abram would have a child with me’. Maybe He meant Abram would have a child with someone else. I so convinced myself of this lie out of fear that I decided to help God out. I asked Abram to sleep with my maidservant. How silly is that!!! Just as Abram’s decision almost cost us our marriage, my decision almost cost us our marriage. But long story short, God redeemed this situation as well and we ended up experiencing God’s promise come to pass in our lives

Relationship Lessons

  1. For your relationship to last, you have to look past what is wrong with you partner and instead focus on what is right
  2. It is not a matter of if you will have to forgive each other, it is a matter of when you will have to forgive each other
  3. Disappointment in relationships is inevitable, but discouragement is a choice
  4. Fear makes bad relationship decisions
  5. Focus on God’s promises when going through a rough patch
  6. Just because something is true today doesn’t mean it will be true tomorrow

Meditation

If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself – 2 Timothy 2:13

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Relationship Lessons From People In The Bible – ADAM

It was love at first sight when I laid eyes on Eve. Indeed, God outdid Himself when He made her. She was like nothing I had ever seen before. I was so awe-struck by her appearance that the first words out of my mouth were ‘wow…man’. So, I dropped the center w and called her woman as a tribute, for indeed she succeeded in wooing me off my feet at first sight. I suppose you could say it was love at first sight. Those early days of our relationship were wonderful!

But the wonder went by the wayside the day we both decided to eat the fruit God told us not to eat. I will never forget that day. It was the day I abdicated responsibility for eating the fruit and instead threw Eve under the bus – blaming her for giving me the fruit. In that moment, I completely neglected the fact that I had my own free will and chose to eat the fruit.

Why did I eat that fruit you ask? I can’t point to just one reason but a myriad. First, the fruit looked really good and appetizing. Second, I knew she desired the fruit too. So, I thought why not! I convinced myself that not only was I going to please my wife, it would also help move us towards our goal of becoming one. I reasoned to myself that God wouldn’t mind us disobeying his word since it would help us fulfill his desire of oneness for Eve and me.

What is that popular saying people have today? Ahh yes…“Happy wife, Happy life”. It didn’t quite work that way for me. When I ate the fruit, Eve was happy in that instant, but it did not take us long to realize we had opened up Pandora’s box. Our happiness quickly disappeared and our lives became miserable.

The immediate period of adjusting to our new normal was especially rough. After experiencing marital heaven for so long, our new normal seemed like marital hell. We pointed fingers at each other and had lots of arguments. Instead of getting us closer to each other, eating the fruit ended up separating us.

I thank God that Eve and I were both committed to each other though. As time passed, we both realized that we had to let go of the past in order to move forward. Neither of us could go back in time and fix our mistakes. We just had to make the best of the situation at hand and learn from our past mistakes.

Still, it is clear that we would not be in our predicament if only we had listened to God in the first place. From that moment on, we stopped debating whether to believe God or not. We realized He is infinitely wiser than we would ever be and so submitted to His lordship.

Relationship Lessons

  1. Do not sacrifice permanent joy for temporary gratification
  2. God knows what is best for your relationship – trust the boundaries He sets for you
  3. You have to let go of the past in order to move forward
  4. Your commitment to your partner will determine whether your relationship survives
  5. Your commitment to God will determine whether your relationship thrives

Meditation

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding
– Proverbs 3:5
Note: The biblical story referenced can be found in Genesis 3:1-13  

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4 Ways to Improve the Trajectory of Your Life

The bible talks about a guy called Peter who went from living a mundane and predictable life to being transformed into a guy that changed the course of history. His life went from being virtually meaningless to vitally important all within the course of three years.

If you do not like where you are in life and desire for a change in trajectory, then you need to know the four things that changed the course of Peter’s life.

Take the Opportunities That Life Gives You

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him – Matthew 4:18-20

If Peter had not heeded Jesus’ words, he would have stayed a local fisherman. He wouldn’t have become one of the twelve disciples and he wouldn’t have become the father of the early church. Not that there is anything wrong with being a fisherman, but the point is he was called to do more, be more, and achieve more. When the call came, he did not hesitate! He immediately left what he was doing and jumped at the opportunity.

All that is required for you to change the course of your life is one wise decision in one fateful moment

It is not often that life presents trajectory changing opportunities. In fact, you may only get one opportunity in your life time. When that moment comes, do not let it walk away thinking you will get another chance, for you may not! And do not let your fear interfere! Seize the moment! Do not be afraid to drop the good thing that you have today so that you may take hold of a better thing tomorrow.

Changing the trajectory of your life will require you to get out of your comfort zone

Focus on People, Not on Things

The first time Jesus met Peter, he told him how he could change the trajectory of his life. Jesus told him that he would teach him to fish for people. Though Peter knew how to catch fish, he did not know how to catch people.

In school, we are taught how to catch things but we are not necessarily taught how to catch people. If you want to change the trajectory of your life, you will have to learn to catch people’s attention. You will have to learn to influence them and get them to notice you.

The best way to catch people’s attention is to help them solve a problem. The more problems you can solve, the more attention you will receive from people. Now, there are lots of problems out there just waiting to be solved – medical, financial, mental, relational etc. You don’t have to try to solve them all. Just choose one problem and do the best you can to solve that problem on a large scale.

This is in essence what Jesus was telling Peter: I will show you how to solve people’s problems and in doing that, men will be drawn to you.

Find a Good Mentor to Guide You

Jesus was Peter’s mentor. Peter stayed with him for three years. In those three years, he taught him what he knew (John 15:15). Then after he departed from Peter, he introduced him to another mentor that would lead him and guide him (Holy Spirit).

A good mentor is so secure in himself that he will teach you all that he knows and is not afraid to introduce you to another great mentor

An interesting thing about the other mentor Jesus introduced Peter to is that this particular mentor would never leave Peter. That is to say this: No matter how clever you are; no matter how accomplished you are; you can never outgrow needing a mentor in your life.

If you do not have a mentor, it is time for you to get one. Grow from their expertise; learn from their experience; gain from their influence.

Asking or admitting you need help is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of wisdom

Resist the Urge to Go Back When Times Get Hard

“I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So, they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing – John 21:3

In this period of Peter’s life, he was crest-fallen that he no longer had Jesus as a mentor. He felt that the investment he had made over the last three years had led to nothing. So, he decided to go back to fishing – the first thing he was doing before Jesus called him to greatness. And he was not the only one. Others felt the same way he did and they followed suit. What happened? They caught nothing!

There will be times when you feel that you have simply wasted your time. There will be times when you ask yourself if you made the right decision. In these times, you may want to go back to the safe and secure world that you left behind. If you decide to go this route, know that it will leave you empty.

To make sure you do not go back, make sure you get rid of any plan B. This is exactly what Cortez did when he landed in the Americas. He burned the ships they took from Europe! He got rid of plan B.

By the way, Jesus ended up showing up again to help Peter and the others course-correct. And Peter ended up fulfilling the call he had on his life. Make sure you keep people in your life who will pull you up when you are down in the dumps.

If you do not quit, you will fulfil the great plan and purpose for your life

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How to Stand Out from The Crowd, Get Noticed, and Get Doors to Open

Do you have a desire to stand out from the crowd, get noticed, and get doors to open for you? If so, the first thing you need to do is make sure your work is meaningful to you.  When your work has meaning to you, you will tend to dedicate more time, energy, and resources to it. It will seem less like work and more like play. Meaningful work gives us lots of energy, passion, determination, and drive. It is the antidote to the lethargy, listlessness, and procrastination that comes with doing something you find meaningless and insignificant to you.

Meaningful work produces the consistent hard work that is required for you to stand out, get noticed, and get doors to open for you. 

If you cannot attach a significant meaning to what you are doing day in day out, then maybe you are not doing what you have been born to do, but doing what you feel you must do.

Nurture Your Gifts & Talent

A mans gift opens doors for him, and brings him before great men – Proverbs 18:16

Our talent is something we were born to do; our training is something we were taught to do. While whatever we are taught to do can help us achieve success, only by doing what we were born to do will we achieve fulfillment along with success. Note: Achievement – Fulfillment = Emptiness!

Another reason to choose talent over training is this: A nurtured and practiced talent will always outshine a nurtured and practiced training.

Nurturing your talent takes you beyond the ordinary and propels you into the realm of the extraordinary. Therefore, do not neglect your talent for the sake of nurturing your training. Your gift is a great door opener to bring you before the great men in this world. Stir it up!

Deepen Your Relationship with God

Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region – Luke 4:14

After Jesus was empowered by the Spirit, He was able to do some incredibly amazing things. He was able to achieve feats that had not been done before. As a result, news of him spread quickly and so did his fame.

Therefore, a way to stand out, get noticed, and get doors to open for you is to do something that has never been done or has seldom been done before. Though this may not be possible in your own power, there is nothing you cannot do if you rely on the ability of God. This is exactly what Noah did when God asked him to build a boat. Having never built a boat before, he had to rely on divine instruction. Therefore, in all your hard work and striving to stand out, get noticed, and to get doors to open, do not forget to work hard on your relationship with God!

Achieving the impossible is possible when we listen and obey Him for whom nothing is impossible.

Nourish Your Relationship with Others

But Peter stood at the door outside. Then the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to her who kept the door, and brought Peter in – John 18:16

Sometimes, the only way you can get through a door is by knowing the right person. Therefore, do not be afraid to expand your network and develop relationships. It is interesting, that the other disciple of Jesus cultivated a relationship with the high priest, a man who disliked Jesus. This disciple seemed to be able to get along fine with just everyone and so had an expansive network.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, get noticed, and get doors to open, then you must be a likeable person. When you are liked, you’ll find that people will afford you liberties, luxuries, and passes that they not extend to other people. In other words, you get advantages that other people do not get, and doors that may have otherwise remained closed suddenly swing open.

Your luck increases as more people like you. 

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5 Ways Relationship Is Much Like Cooking

Relationship is much like cooking. If you are going to have a shot at success, you will have to shop for the right ingredients. Unlike cooking, where you shop in the supermarket, for relationships you shop among the people in the world. Not every shop will have the ingredient you need, and not every shop will have the quality of ingredient that you desire. Hence it is important to choose where you shop wisely for it will determine the quality of the final product you cook up.

If you want to cook up a great relationship, you have to shop in the best stores for the best ingredients.

If you are looking to cook up a great relationship, I suggest you avoid shops such as gentlemen’s clubs and seedy bars as it is highly unlikely that you will find the ingredients that will make for a great relationship.  The exception to this rule are master chefs. Master chefs are so skilled and trained that they are able to take seemingly undesirable ingredients and make desirable dishes out of them. Unless you are one of these rare master chefs with special abilities, it is best to stay away from ingredients that you know won’t give you desired results.

The greatest master chef that has ever graced this word is Jesus. If you want to cook up the best relationship, then it is best for you to invite him into your kitchen and get some personal tutelage. If you are unsure of his pedigree and not ready to invite him into your kitchen just yet, you have other options. He has inspired 66 books (the Bible), all of which have recipes for a great relationship. It is not a bad idea to open up a few of those books.

If you don’t know what you are doing in your relationship, don’t make it up, get the help you need.

Rather than continue to experiment, pretending you know what you are doing, making a bigger mess, and then having your family (spouse and kids) suffer through the pain of ingesting the relationship disaster you have cooked up, simply call up a chef that knows what he/she is doing. These chefs may include marriage counsellors, pastors, an older married couple, or even a friend. If these chefs are worth your investment, they will at some point refer to the works of the greatest master chef (Jesus).

Relationship is much like cooking. For you to be successful requires the following:

  • You Understand Your Worth (Deciding What You Want To Cook): While some will choose to cook up a burger of a relationship, you should choose to cook a filet mignon of a relationship.
  • You Set Up Boundary Conditions (Deciding Where To Shop and Where Not To): Boundaries help you avoid foundational mistakes that will be detrimental to your relationship dish
  • You Select Carefully (Choosing the best ingredients that suit your palate): Not point fooling yourself and going after something you can’t handle
  • You are Humble (Asking for help to make the best dish): Too many people do not seek help in their relationships until it is too late. Do not be counted in that number.
  • You Actively Listen (Heeding the advice of the master chef): A good relationship is not between two people but three. It is best to invite God into the equation and actively listen to and obey his principles.

 

 

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Make Sure He Reflects The Diamond Ring He is Giving You

It was one of the happiest days of your life – the day he decided to get down on one knee and asked your to marry him. That day, he presented you with a ring – a symbol of his love. On that ring was probably a diamond. You love it, you love the moment, you love him. So you say yes to his marriage proposal.

But alas, for almost 50% in America, the yes will at some point change to a no. For many, not just a no, but a heck no!

There have been instances where I have seen women take off their ring and throw it in the direction of the man. For the women who have reached their breaking point, they are not just saying I am no longer committed. For many, they are also saying to the man that he did not live up to the meaning of the diamond ring he gave her.

A diamond is an expression of his commitment to you

There are 5 commitments inherent in the giving of a diamond that are implicit in the properties of a diamond. You should know these five commitments and ensure he is espousing them before you commit to him.

Transparency: A diamond is transparent. When a man gives you a diamond, it is a commitment to be transparent. That means that in your marriage, he will allow you to see through him. He will not hide anything from you but he will be naked before you. While this may be difficult, it is essential that a man be vulnerable and honest with you. This is what leads to intimacy or “into-me-see”. A man who is not ready to live vulnerably, authentically, and transparently with you is not a man you should choose to marry.

Reflective: A diamond reflects all the light it captures. This is what gives a diamond its ‘fire’ and makes it shine so bright. That a diamond reflects all the light it captures symbolizes that a diamond is not selfish – it does not keep hold of the light. When a man gives you a diamond, it is a commitment to be selfless. It is that selflessness that shines brightly for you to see, and keeps the fire burning in your relationship. Indeed, it is easy to want to stay with a man who thinks of you, values you, and shine light on you.

Conductor: A diamond is the best conductor of heat we know. Stay long enough in your relationship and it will experience periods of heat and discomfort. When life and circumstances bring the heat, it is important that your man conduct that heat away from your relationship. No matter how uncomfortable life gets, it should not affect your relationship because everything flows through it rather than staying locked in the relationship. Contrary to a conductor, A man who insulates keeps the heat, thereby cranking up the pressure on the relationship. Therefore, make sure your man is a conductor who disperses heat and relieves pressure when it comes.

Hardness: A diamond is the hardest material on earth. Thus, nothing other than a diamond can crush or cut a diamond. When a man gives you a diamond, he is saying that nothing on this earth – no person, no situation,  no circumstance –  will be able to cut through your love. He is saying ‘no pressure life puts on us will be able to crush my love for you’. Make sure the man you say yes to is not a graphite but a diamond. Though both are made entirely of carbon, their properties are very different because of the way their building blocks are arranged. A man who loves you will make sure that his character is built to stand the test of time

Inert: A diamond is highly inert. This means that it does not react to other agents and does not bond itself to other compounds. When a man gives a diamond, he is telling you that he will remain inert. That means you are the one he is choosing to bond with, and will not bond emotionally or physically with anyone else. Though other people may connect with him (friends, family, workers etc), that connection will not be as deep and internal as what he builds with you.

Your Turn: I want you to answer this honestly: (1) Is the man I am seeking to marry diamond quality?

Moment of Honesty: Just because a man starts off being diamond quality does not mean he will remain diamond quality. That is the bad news. The good news is that every man CAN maintain diamond quality. I will share more about this in the next blog.

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5 Things to Remember When Your Family Does Not Support Your Interracial Relationship

Jeff and Maria met while attending a conference in California. Jeff traveled down from Canada and Maria up from Colombia. It wasn’t love at first sight. They kept in touch, got to know each other, traveled to visit one another often and ultimately fell in love. This is not a puppy love type of story. Both Jeff and Maria are in their late thirties. Though both could have been married to any number of admirers, they did not want. They chose not to settle into marriage just for the sake of being married. They used their season of singleness to grow, pray earnestly, and wait patiently for God’s timing.

I met Maria back in 2012. She is a family-oriented woman who loves God. She completed a masters degree in a respected western university, is well established in her profession, owns her own place in Colombia, and is quite enterprising. By all accounts, Maria embodies a virtuous woman. The type of woman a mother would want for their son. The type of woman any family would love to welcome with open arms.

Yet, welcoming is hardly the word to use to describe what happened when Jeff informed his family that he had found Maria – the woman with whom he desired to spend his life. No sooner had he declared his intentions, some members of his family objected. The bold ones labelled Maria as a gold-digging woman who desired to escape the distress of her country in order to enjoy the comforts of Canada. Others took a more tactical approach to discourage him. They told Jeff that he was rushing into things…that he should give it more time. They asked him to consider the difficulties inherent in interracial relationships and to consider the difficulties they would face when they have children. Still others said, ‘I hear you when you say she is a wonderful woman, but there are wonderful women right here in Canada as well. Why not find a Canadian woman?

If what you are reading shocks you, it shouldn’t. This problem has been in existence since the first man sinned. Now, if you find yourself in the situation that Jeff and Maria find themselves, I want to share with you what I shared with Jeff. I will share with you the story of a biblical man Moses.

Moses married interracially when he married an Ethiopian woman (see Numbers 12). His brother and sister-in-law were not fans of this decision. In fact, it bothered them so much that they started to question the legitimacy of Moses’ leadership.

But God defended Moses’ decision. He called Moses’ brother and sister-in-law and said to them: I speak with him (Moses) face to face, even plainly and not in dark sayings; and he sees the form of the LORD. Whey then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses (Numbers 12:8).    

Do you realize what God did there? He rebuked Moses’ brother and sister-in-law. He shared with them that Moses speaks with him and that Moses hears what he says clearly. This means that God did not object when Moses spoke with Him about marrying the Ethiopian lady. And God did not like it when they tried to discredit him or put him down because of it. In fact, a few verses down, Moses’ sister-in-law became leprous because of her dissent.

This story tells us 5 important things:

(1) God does not see race or cultural as a showstopper in marriage – otherwise he would not have allowed the interracial marriage

(2) Just because we choose to please God in our decision does not mean we will please our family – though Moses’ choice pleased God, it did not please Moses’ family members

(3) It is more important to please God than it is to please our family – Moses did not reverse his decision due to his family’s dissent

(4) God will defend us when we make a decision that He is pleased with – God spoke to Moses family member about their behavior and warned them against discrediting him

(5) God does not like it when we put anyone down because of their race of culture – the bible says God was angry and Moses’ sister-in-law became leprous.

So, what if your family does not support your interracial relationship? Go ahead with it so long as it is right in the eyes of God. It is God that keeps your marriage together, not your family.

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