Category Archives: Relationships

Don’t Just Rush Into Marriage

Chemisty_and_Commonalities_Trap_Blog_Photo_2_1024x1024Bear with me for a second and imagine that you are about to buy a used car. Before signing on the dotted line, you would request the diagnostics on the car. You’d take the car for ride to see how it drives — paying attention to its feel, listening for any weird sounds, and checking all the features to ensure that everything works right. You might even get an experienced mechanic to examine the car and give you their professional opinion.

You go through all this trouble because you don’t want to buy an unreliable car that becomes a money pit! You know it is a substantial investment and you want to know exactly what you are getting. You want to make sure you are getting your money’s worth.

While buying a used car can be a risky investment, the investment risk is small compared to the risk we take when choosing which relationships we should invest in.

If you invest in a bad car, outside of your pride, the only thing that takes a hit is your financial standing. If you invest in a bad relationship, especially if it turns out to be a marriage relationship, your entire future may be in jeopardy. Yet, too many of us treat the decision of whom to enter into a relationship with as something that is trivial, compared to the due diligence we give to deciding whether to buy a car.

Our lack of due diligence is NOT due to a lack of concern. Rather, any concern we have is often overwhelmed by the emotional tidal wave that accompanies the prospect of getting what we desire — the desire to be in a committed relationship. While this emotional wave produces butterflies and feelings of happiness, it can blind us to glaring red flags. It can cause us to overlook and excuse away foundational problems that require fixing.

Choosing to ignore foundational problems when choosing whether to commit to a relationship is like choosing to ignore a used car’s check engine light and instead choosing to focus on how pretty the paint job looks on the car.

If you are going to give yourself the best chance of making the best decision relationship decision, there are 3 things you must do while dating.

Talk About the Ugly Stuff

No one is perfect! Everyone has issues! If you are not talking about the ugly stuff, the ugly stuff will talk to you when it shows up later in your marriage.

Analogous to diagnosing a car to see what is wrong before you buy it, you need to look at what is wrong and understand what you have to deal with in your relationship.

You want to go into your marriage with your eyes wide open

If you do not know for sure what you are dealing with, then it is likely that many things will surprise and disappoint you. You will feel as if your partner was dishonest with you and sold you on a lie. And you are more likely to want to bail out when in the truth comes out in those early days.

But if you know what you are facing, you can make a quality decision. You can place boundaries on your relationship to prevent the ugly from coming out. You will be better prepared for the ugly when it does come out.

Example: When Jack told Lori that he struggles with porn from time to time, they spoke about it and decided that he needed to install covenant eyes while they seek out help for him.

When you know what is not right before hand, you can make a plan to deal with it.

Be Honest About What You Can Handle

When buying a used car, there comes a point when you have to make a decision about whether you can handle the maintenance cost! The same is true of relationships. There is maintenance work required for any relationship not to break down. You have to decide whether you can handle it.

If you know that you cannot afford the maintenance on your relationship, it is better not to commit to the relationship.

There are two key questions to consider when thinking of relationship maintenance: (1) Is the problem causing the maintenance a chronic issue? (2) Do you have the spiritual strength, mental energy, and emotional capital to deal with the problem?

If you know you do not want to continue spending emotional capital to fix an unending issue, then be honest with yourself and end the relationship before it gets really serious. You don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you get bitter because things don’t get better.

Example: When Samantha realized she could not handle Blake’s addiction, she decided to call it quits though she cared for him deeply.

Allow Someone You Trust to Evaluate Your Relationship

When in the throes of emotional energy in a relationship, we tend to magnify the positives and minimize the negatives. I can’t illustrate this point any better than my friend did a few weeks ago. He said to me “When I first got married, I wondered why I did not marry her sooner. Now I wonder why I married her at all.”

Before you commit to marriage, do yourself a favor and invite a wise objective person to speak into your life. Be sure to tell them the good, the bad, and the ugly. Also, be honest with yourself and let them know what you can handle and what you can’t handle. Then open your heart to receive what this person has to say and truly consider it.

This is like inviting an expert mechanic to see if this car you want to buy is a right for you.

Example: Kim and Tyler went to a counsellor with an open mind to get his take on their relationship. After four sessions, they realized they still had a lot of work today. So, they decided to put their engagement on hold and work through the resources the counsellor gave them. Because they put in the work, they now have a successful marriage.

It is better to wait and get it right, than rush in and get it wrong

Do not awaken love until the time is right — King Solomon

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A Love Letter to Christian Men Who Desire A Thriving Marriage

couple-hand-in-hand_925x_08866aab-9de4-43bb-b21e-d4418aea3ca3_1024x1024[1]Dear Christian Men,

God, without a doubt, outdid Himself when He made her. Eve, my wife to be left me breathless when I saw her. When I finally caught my breath, the first words out of my mouth were ‘wow…man’. So, I dropped the ‘w’ and called her ‘woman’ as a tribute. I was love drunk and I knew it. So did she.

I remember our early days fondly. They were absolutely wonderful!

But those days did not last. The wonder went by the wayside the day we both decided to disobey God. I will never forget that day. It was the day I rejected responsibility, abdicated spiritual leadership, and threw my wife under the bus — blaming her for my disobedience to God. In that moment, I completely neglected the fact that I had my own free will and chose to eat the fruit.

Why disobey God and eat that fruit you ask? 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. I reasoned it was better for my wife and I to agree with each other and disagree with God THAN to disagree with each other and agree with God.

The most dangerous excuses are the ones we consider good excuses

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 that I had listened to her. But that happiness quickly faded away. It did not take us long to realize we had opened up Pandora’s box of relationship problems that made our lives miserable.

After experiencing marital heaven in the early days, our new normal seemed like marital hell. Suddenly, we started pointing fingers at each other and started to argue a lot. We no longer fully trusted each other and started to compete with each other. So, instead of getting us closer to each other, eating the fruit ended up separating us.

Disobedience feels good for some time and then proceeds to hurt for a lifetime

I thank God that Eve and I were both committed to each other though. As time passed, we both realized that blaming each other and pointing at each other’s faults was pointless. We had to let go of the past in order to move forward. So we did. We moved forward with a new attitude and mindset.

We came to realize that a marriage is a threesome that involves God (He is the glue). A marriage is not about what you can gain but what you can give. The primary reason behind marriage is not happiness but fulfilling the purpose of God (happiness is a byproduct). The purpose of marriage is to refine and perfect us – therefore any pain of refinement is worth the shine in the end.

With this, we embraced the process of God’s refinement and also decided not to spend a moment longer in the fire than was necessary. In practice, 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.

My 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 more than survives. It determines whether your relationship thrives

Sincerely,

Adam

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I know I am Not Getting Married On My Wedding Day

couple-hand-in-hand_925x_08866aab-9de4-43bb-b21e-d4418aea3ca3_1024x1024[1]I know it’s going to be beautiful. I know it’s going to be emotional. And I know it’s going to be memorable. Though many things will happen that day, I know one thing that won’t happen. I know that I won’t be married!

When I met my soon to be wife, we started the process of getting close to one another. After we got close to one another, we decided that we should be joined (wedded) together.

When we become wedded together in a few weeks, we will then begin the process of becoming one.

Aha moment: Marriage is a process, not an event. The wedding (joining together) event kickstarts the marriage (oneness) process.

I did not really consider that I wasn’t getting married on my wedding day until I paid close attention to a very popular saying during weddings.

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” – Genesis 2:24

If you read carefully, you will see that it talks of the joining (wedding) and then speaks of the oneness (marriage). It says that “they shall become”. The “shall” in the passage points to something that will happen in the future. Not something that has already happened.

This is how I know that the word ‘shall’ is not being used to denote spiritual oneness, which happens instantly. First, Genesis 2:24 is used in reference to Adam and Even before the fall. This means they were already spiritually one with God and spiritually yoked to one another. Spiritual separation happened only after the fall. Second, the passage specifies that it is talking about the flesh (the part we use to interact with the world).

In its more robust definition, one flesh refers to oneness in mind and body. It is this oneness of mind and body that the devil tested in the garden of Eden. As it so happened, Adam and Eve were not quite one yet in the flesh, and had not surrendered their flesh quite yet to the leadership of the spirit.

With this in mind, I started to view the process of getting married as being similar to the nuclear fusion process. It takes considerable binding energy (work) for the two individual atoms to come together — releasing surplus energy in the process. Likewise, for my wife and I to become fully one, I know we need to focus our energy on overcoming our “self-ish” tendencies. In the process, a lot of heat will be released as we do away with those things that add no value to our union — things such as our selfishness and our desire to be right.

Aha moment: The marriage process is designed to help us get rid of those undesirable traits in our lives.

I know that I will forever be changed through the process of marriage. Though I will still be present, I will have changed. I will be a different man. I will have become refined. A better man. So I embrace the process of marriage, knowing that the benefit in the end is worth the work. I choose to do the work. I will not settle for being joined to my wife in wedlock without becoming married to her. No! I will continue to press in and pursue a greater degree of closeness.

Aha moment: If we work on our marriage, our marriages will work.

After two atoms fuse together, the struggle is over. Maybe this is the reason so many unions struggle and fail. Maybe it is because the two have not fused into one in marriage.

I do not want to experience the same heartache. And I do not want a relationship that just survives. I want a marriage that thrives. Therefore, I choose to get married after my wedding.

What about you? Are you settling on a wedding or are you working on your marriage?

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How to Get That Godly Christian Guy to Choose You

After you get that godly Christian guy to approach you, it is time to work towards getting him to choose you. Just like in How to Get That Godly Christian Guy To Approach You, we will use the  biblical story of Rebekah and Eliezer found in Genesis 24 to help you discover how to get that godly Christian guy to choose you.

(1) Show Him Respect: All men have a deep desire to be respected. When you respect a man, you give him something that he longs for deep in his heart. He will love you for it. Respect from a woman gives a man a sense of belonging, security, and validation. No matter how macho and walled up he may seem, any disrespect will wound him. When Rebekah met Eliezer, she understood the importance of showing him respect. She started off by calling him ‘my lord’, though she had never met him in her life (Genesis 24:18). With those words, she elevated Eliezer who was a servant into a position of higher importance. Now, I am not saying you should go literally calling any guy ‘my lord’. What I am saying is that the principle still applies today. If you want that godly Christian guy to choose you, then you should show that godly Christian guy some respect.

(2) Show Him You Care: Some say that if you like a guy, you should pretend that you do not care about him. I beg you to reconsider if you have been following that advice, especially if you want that godly Christian guy to approach you. See, a godly Christian guy is not going to be into playing games. Do what Rebekah did. When Eliezer asked her for a drink of water, she not only drew water for him but she also draw water for his entourage of camels (Genesis 24:19). By doing this, she was showing him that she did not just care for his well-being, she cared and was willing to take care of his property. She was showing him that what was important to him was important to her. If you have a godly Christian guy you in your life, be sure to care for those things he cares about.

(3) Show Him You Are Committed: Rebekah did not stop drawing water for Eliezer’s camels until they had finished drinking (Genesis 24:19). Camels drink a lot of water, especially after travelling a long journey. Eliezer had ten of them and they had just travelled hundreds of miles. So, Rebekah had to go back to that well multiples times to draw water. By choosing to draw water until the camels had finished drinking, she showed Eliezer that she was willing to go the extra mile. If you want that godly Christian guy to choose you, make sure you are not one to change your mind as quick as the wind changes direction. Make sure you show yourself to be committed.

(4) Show Him You Are Hard-working: The story tells us Rebekah ran back to the well to draw water to the camels (Genesis 24:20). She didn’t labor back. She didn’t walk back, but she ran until all the camels had well drunk. Here, she was showing Eliezer that she was a goal-getter. She had purpose of mind and set about finishing what needed to be done. A godly Christian guy has a life purpose he is working at fulfilling with gusto. He wants to know you are a person that won’t relent either. Show him you are willing to put in the work.

(5) Show Him You Are Trustworthy: Rebekah drew for his camels just as she said she would (Genesis 24:20). Like Rebekah, being a woman of your words is important. Say what you are going to do and do what you say you. When a godly Christian guy knows he can trust you, he will open his heart up to you.

 

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How to Get That Godly Christian Guy To Approach You

“It is rough out there for a woman who does not want to compromise her Christian values”, says Stephanie. She is a fantastic women who desires to be married but is not willing to compromise her values. She has settled in her heart not to get married just for the sake of it. Instead she wants to build a loving, committed relationship that lasts a lifetime. She is not the only godly Christian lady who think this. Many have said to me: Just because a guy is a Christian does not mean he is godly. Where are the godly Christian men?

Godly Christian men still exist, though they may be hiding underneath a veil of shyness.  If you really desire a godly guy, there are things you can do to compel them to come out of their shell.

Some of these things may put off some men. Don’t worry about that. You are more interested in quality than you are quantity.

If you want that godly Christian guy to approach you, there are two biblical things you must practice. These are the two things that made Eliezer approach Rebekah (read Genesis 24:16-17)

(1) Take Care of Your Appearance: Everything that good makes is good (Genesis 1:4). So how God made you uniquely with your specially designed features is good. Still, you are a steward of everything God has given you. Being a good steward of your body means that you keep healthy and keep your appearance in check. When Eliezer met Rebekah, he saw that she was beautiful in appearance. This was a factor in him approaching her.

The implication is this: It is your external appearance that lures people to you before they get a chance to see how wonderful a person you are. So while it is true that no one should judge a book by its cover, you want to make sure your cover does not completely turn people off. Therefore, if you want that guy to approach you, take heed to your appearance. Wear a charming smile, make sure your body language is open and makes you approachable, dress well, and keep fit.

(2) Know Your Worth: Being beautiful, I am certain many men wanted to get with Rebekah. Yet she did not give herself away to just anyone. We know this for she remained a virgin. She knew she was like fine china – she knew she was valuable and wasn’t going to surrender herself for everyday use. Here is how Jesus put this concept: Do not cast your pearls before pigs. Why did Jesus say this? It is because pigs do not understand the value of pearls and so trample them as if they were common.

God does not regard you as common but calls you His special treasure. Therefore, uphold your values, maintain godly standards, and do not treat yourself as valueless. Do not worry if you have not always treated yourself as valuable. You can’t do anything about yesterday. Today is the day to start. Though you may drive insecure men away, the men who are worth it will value and cherish you.

There is nothing more attractive to a godly Christian man than a fine woman who knows her worth and understands her value.

Next: We will look at how to get that godly Christian guy to choose you

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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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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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